Colombia’s former corruption chief was convicted on corruption charges on Wednesday after the DEA found out he and Supreme Court justices were taking bribes from corrupt politicians.
The court initially sentenced former top prosecutor Luis Gustavo to three and a half years in prison, but then suspended the sentence, claiming it made a calculation error.
Month ago, the country’s disgraced top court suspended one of its own judges after investigations indicated he had accepted bribes from the prosecution chief.
Moreno was arrested in June last year and has admitted to facilitating the bribes before and after he was hand-picked for the top position by Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez.
The revelations made by the American counter-narcotics agency led to more than 25 criminal investigations that unveiled an entire corruption network in the top of Colombia’s justice system, government and Congress.
Key allies of President Juan Manuel Santos and presidential candidate German Vargas were sent to jail while awaiting trial for corruption, and earlier charges that include ties to a terrorist group and rape.
Moreno was allowed a shorter sentence after the court approved the plea bargain Moreno made with his colleagues.
Moreno’s collaboration falls on an important number of people, including magistrates, senators, representatives to the House, governors, mayors and private individuals.
Luis Gustavo Moreno’s plea bargain
Following his sentence, the court could rule to extradite Moreno to the United States, which has requested his extradition to respond to corruption charges in the state of Florida.
The former top justice official survived a poisoning attempt and an attack by a rabid dog while in jail.
The scandal sent a shock wave through Colombia’s political and judicial system and destroyed the perceived integrity of the prosecutor general. One former chief justice of the Supreme Court is in jail. Three more former justices are investigated.
The apparent manipulation of the Supreme Court casts doubt on multiple sentences and ongoing investigations of some of the country’s most powerful people that could have been manipulated.
The so-called “Robe Cartel” is one of multiple high-profile corruption scandals that have plunged public confidence in the state to record lows.