A Colombian congressman was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison for ties to paramilitary groups, newspaper El Espectador reported.
Former congressman Jairo Merlano was found guilty by Colombia’s Supreme Court of using links to violent paramilitary forces to gain his election to congress in 2002. Merlano waived his right to immunity so that he could be investigated by prosecutors instead of members of Congress.
Six other former members of Congress have been indicted for paramilitary ties so far this year, including two former congressional presidents. Ten former members of Congress were also found guilty in 2010.
Merlano was first arrested in 2006 for paramilitary ties but was later acquitted and released. In January the investigation against him was reopened.