The former security adviser of ex-President Alvaro Uribe, who was charged with drug trafficking by U.S. authorities, requested to be released on bail Monday until his trial starts, reported local media.
Retired police general and leader of the counter-narcotics unit of Colombia’s National Police Mauricio Santoyo handed himself over to the U.S. authorities on Tuesday and subsequently pled not guilty to the charges. His lawyer claimed that the general handed himself over because he wanted to fully cooperate with U.S. authorities. He was denied bail shortly after his arrest based on the severity of the charges against him.
Santoyo, who served as Uribe’s top security advisor for four years, was accused of collaborating with the far-right paramilitary organization the AUC and Medellin-based crime syndicate Oficina de Envigado between 2000 and 2008.
According to testimonies from the former AUC commander Salvatore Mancuso and drug trafficker “El Tuso“, the former police general accepted bribes from the AUC and Oficina de Envigado to inform them of any possible investigations against the groups in Colombia, the U.S. and Europe and colloborated with the illegal armed groups on a wide range of activities related to drug trafficking.
Santoyo’s trial is set to begin in a Virginia court in September.