Colombian congress officials expressed concern that legislative procedures will be slowed should the parapolitics trial of former Prosector General Luis Camilo Osorio go ahead.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Simon Gaviria Munoz said, “If the case goes to trial, it would take precedence over other issues,” citing the congressional rule that states a trial in the House must be addressed before any law proposals or other acts of legislation may go through.
According to the head of the Accusations Committee, Gonzalo Pinzon Pinzon, it could be “more or less a month, month and a half,” before the legal process reaches the plenary of the House.
Currently there are several high priority projects, such as judicial reform, that must go through legal processes. Munoz recognized that “there are only 21 days after Easter” for discussion of approval on these matters before Congress’ dismissal on June 20.
However Gaviria said he is not concerned about the “pace of work of the House” but notes that there must be realistic expectations.
Osorio, who held office from 2001-2005, has been called to appear before the Colombian Congress’ Accusations Commission to testify about allegations that he allowed the infiltration of paramilitaries into the Prosecutor General’s office.
Osorio will also be expected to answer questions about the murders of prosecutors Rosario Silba and Carlos Arturo Pinto and section investigator David Corzo, all three of which took place during his tenure in office.
The former Prosecutor General has been repeatedly accused of dismissing cases against high-ranking Colombian officials, including General Rito Alejo del Rio; who was convicted for having ties to the paramilitary AUC.
Osorio is one of hundreds of Colombian former officials implicated in the “parapolitics” scandal that revealed ties between politicians, businesses, military officers and paramilitary groups.
Osorio will be called for questioning before the House on Thursday March 29.