Colombia’s Supreme Court will forward the fraud and bribery case against former President Alvaro Uribe to the prosecution, according to his alleged victim, opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda, who confirmed the news on Monday.
The decision follows Uribe’s resignation from the senate earlier this month when he renounced his privilege in order to have his fraud and bribery charges be tried before ordinary justice.
The Supreme Court did not immediately confirm or elaborate its decision that ends a two-and-a-half year investigation into the alleged manipulation of witnesses to file fraudulent criminal charges against Cepeda.
The notoriously politicized prosecution will now begin testing the evidence gathered by the Supreme Court to determine if it is enough to take the former president to court.
Uribe, his defense attorney or his far-right Democratic Center party, who had accused the court of violating the former president’s rights after placing him under house arrest, did not immediately respond to the decision.
Cepeda said he accepted the court decision and would request that Prosecutor General Francisco Barbosa, an ally of the former president, be separated from the case in order to guarantee a fair trial.
The latest plot twist in the judicial thriller follows growing institutional tensions as the government of President Ivan Duque, Uribe’s protege, refused to accept the court decision to place the far-right leader and their political patron under house arrest.
The judicial battle between the far-right former president and the leftist senator began in 2014 when Uribe sued Cepeda for revealing testimonies of two former paramilitaries testifying that Uribe and his brother Santiago had formed a death squad in the 1990’s.
The court absolved Cepeda of charges in February 2018 and announced it would open an investigation into the former president instead citing evidence that not the opposition senator, but the former president, was manipulating witnesses.