Colombia’s Inspector General absolved leftist Senator Ivan Cepeda in response to witness tampering claims made by former President Alvaro Uribe.
The Inspector General said there is no evidence Cepeda overstepped his boundaries “for investigating and receiving testimonies” over Uribe’s alleged criminal responsibility in the formation of death squads in the 1990s.
According to Inspector General Fernando Carrillo, Cepeda’s investigations and conversations with former members of the Blowque Metro fall within his powers as congressman.
The Supreme Court decided earlier this year also to absolve Cepeda and instead investigate Uribe for alleged witness tampering after the assassination of multiple witnesses who had testified that the former president formed the “Bloque Metro” death squad when he was governor of the Antioquia province.
The State Council is still studying Uribe’s request to remove Cepeda from Congress on the claims.
Uribe’s defense attorney Jaime Granados said he would file new charges against Cepeda in the coming days based on written statements of drug traffickers that Cepeda offered them undue incentives for their testimonies.
Journalist Daniel Coronell of weekly Semana, and television networks Noticias Uno and Univision, reported on Sunday that one of these witnesses appeared to have caved in to pressure of the former president, claiming that “I have family.”
As the former president slowly is submerged in a growing body of evidence and claims indicating he is responsible for crimes against humanity, Uribe’s attorney Victor Mosquera said he would ask for protection measures before the Inter-American Court for Human Rights.
We ask that the law be applied in a strict sense, that those who carry out the actions be competent, independent and impartial; that the judicial guarantees that are internationally recognized in the human rights treaties signed by Colombia be reinforced. We want international observers to evaluate the process, President Uribe wants to be part of this process, he wants to debate and prove his innocence.
Defense attorney Víctor Mosquera
President Ivan Duque, Uribe’s protege, has vowed to seek the abolishment of the Supreme Court and other top judicial bodies to form one “super court” and further delay investigations into his political patron.