Duque and his far-right Democratic Center party are increasingly nervous about the impending Supreme Court decision on Uribe, who is on trial on fraud and bribery charges.
The former president and former Medellin Cartel associate is Duque’s political patron and the undisputed boss of the controversial party, which has multiple leaders who have been closely associated with organized crime.
In a press release, the Democratic Center said the court investigation into Uribe’s alleged witness tampering to file fraudulent charges against a political opponent is based on a “criminal fantasy” “woven by” “different elements associated to the armed left.”
In an interview with his brother-in-law Nestor Morales, the boss of Blu Radio, President Ivan Duque said that “I believe, I have believed and always will believe in the innocence of Uribe.”
I have had the opportunity in life to know, to deal with, to build a friendship with Alvaro Uribe Velez and I can say that he is a person who fits the word ‘honorability’ in all aspects of his life.
President Ivan Duque
Prominent Colombians close to the former president, some of whom with alleged links to terrorist groups, wrote the Supreme Court to defend Uribe and blame the investigation on “sectors historically opposed to the ideology” of the former president.
We vehemently reject the harmful activism of sectors historically opposed to the ideology of former President Uribe, with which they seek to distort the facts by making an innocent man responsible for conduct he has never incurred.
The Supreme Court began investigating Uribe in February 2018 after ruling that criminal charges filed by the former president against opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda were possibly based on the testimonies of bribed witnesses, which would make the criminal charges fraudulent.
Cepeda asked the Democratic Center to stop its “attempts to intimidate and pressure the magistrates” deciding about the former president’s fate.
Since the fraud and bribery investigation, the court opened two other investigations against the former president who allegedly stepped up criminal activity in an attempt to maintain his waning political power.
The Supreme Court began deliberations on Thursday last week to determine whether to allow Uribe to await trial in jail or at home if the court formally files criminal charges.