A top Colombian prosecutor has traveled to France to campaign for international police help in the hunt for fugitive former peace commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo, reported Colombian media Wednesday.
Martin Moreno Sanjuan will put pressure on Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for Restrepo, who’s accused of staging the demobilization of a fake FARC front during his tenure under former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
Interpol has delayed issuing a warrant for Restrepo, who fled to the U.S. from Colombia on January 8, as it seeks clarity on the charges brought against him, which include conspiracy, embezzlement by appropriation, fraud, trafficking and possession of weapons.
Sanjuan, head of the Prosecutor General’s anti-corruption office, will confirm to Interpol that the charges are not political, despite Restrepo’s claims that he is a political fugitive. A positive verdict from the international police force would confirm Restrepo as an internationally-wanted criminal and hamper his attempts to find political asylum overseas.
A Bogota judge issued a petition for the so-called “red notice” from Interpol on Februrary 25. Interpol told Colombia Reports that difficult cases such as this one can take weeks to process. A verdict is expected within the coming days.
Restrepo is alleged to have plotted with imprisoned FARC guerrilla “Olivo Saldaña” and a drug trafficker to pay homeless and unemployed people in the central Tolima department $278 each to train, live and act like FARC guerrillas, then surrender to security forces. He was officially charged by a Colombian court last month, with plans to try him in absentia if he is not caught.
The ex-commissioner is one of many public servants from Uribe’s controversial tenure now facing various accusations of corruption and malpractice, including Uribe’s brother Santiago, who is accused of paramilitary links and plotting to discredit the Supreme Court.