The Colombian Comptroller’s Office will drop its claim to be a victim in the corruption case of the Nule Group to avoid delaying the trial further.
A judge ruled on Friday that neither the Comptroller’s Office nor the District Oversight Commission would be considered victims in the trial of Manuel, Miguel and Guido Nule and their associate Mauricio Galofre as they had not lost any money in the Bogota public works scandal.
They have the right to appeal the decision, but on Sunday Comptroller Sandra Morelli released a statement saying they would not do so as further delays could see the Nules and Galofre released.
She said, “our legitimate presence in the process cannot be an excuse for an eventual expiration of terms that lets the defendants go free.”
She added, “this withdrawal in no way means we are renouncing our claims for reparations for the damage caused.”
The Comptroller’s office has already recovered over $6 million in public funds in the case.
The Nules were charged in March with embezzlement, fraud, misrepresentation, bribery and conspiracy for their role in the fraudulent awarding of contracts for public works in Bogota.
In April, they pleaded guilty to embezzlement. However they cannot be sentenced until the court formally decides who the victims of the crime were.
The trial has been delayed at every step for reasons running from legal wrangling to missing lawyers.