The lawyer for Colombia’s fugitive ex-peace commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo said his client wouldn’t return to Colombia until the government could guarantee his security, reported La W Monday.
Last Friday Interpol lifted an order to capture Restrepo, despite the Colombian government’s repeated requests for his return.
Restrepo fled Colombia January 8, where he is under investigation for his role in the 2006 “false demobilization” scandal during his tenure as the country’s Peace Commissioner.
Restrepo is accused of working with imprisoned FARC guerrilla “Olivo Saldaña” and drug trafficker Hugo Rojas Yepez to pay homeless and unemployed people in the central Tolima department $278 each to train, live and act like FARC guerrillas, then surrender to security forces.
Speaking with La W, Restrepo’s lawyer Mildred Hartman said Restrepo would not return to Colombia because of “political threats.” Hartman also said his client should not be classified as a fugitive, claiming Restrepo was under the protection of an unnamed country and was a political refugee.
Hartman said in his current circumstances Restrepo, “is free […] and has the freedom to move around.”
The lawyer did leave open the possibility of Restrepo returning to Colombia, but only after the government agreed to the security requests Hartman presented last week.