Colombia’s Supreme Court rejected requests to release former President Alvaro Uribe on Wednesday as his alleged victim claimed he was being shadowed and receiving death threats.
Supporter of the far-right former president demanded his immediate release, claiming that Uribe’s resignation as senator made his fraud and bribery trial removed the Supreme Court’s authority to investigate him.
The Supreme Court said it had rejected the 177 writs and denied the former president’s rights were being violated.
The court is studying a request by Uribe’s attorney, Jaime Granados, to transfer his case to the notoriously corrupt prosecution.
Opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda said Wednesday he was being shadowed and had received an increased number of death threats.
Uribe’s trial followed the former president alleged bribery of witnesses to file false criminal charges against Cepeda after the opposition senator released testimonies of paramilitaries claiming the former president co-founded a paramilitary group in the 1990’s.
Cepeda on Tuesday asked the Inspector General’s Office to investigate top government officials for taking part in attempts to discredit the court led by Uribe’s far-right political party, the Democratic Center.
Uribe’s house arrest and subsequent resignation from the senate deprived the party of President Ivan Duque of its undisputed leader.
The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Diego Garcia, said Tuesday that he was monitoring the “state of institutionality” in Colombia.
Judicial independence and the separation of powers, essential principles of democracy and the rule of law, include respect for the decisions of the Supreme Court. As Rapporteur, I must speak out whenever there is a possible risk, threat or interference in the independence of the judiciary in Colombia and wherever necessary, so that international norms and standards in the administration of justice are respected.
UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Diego Garcia
The Duque administration has refused to accept Uribe’s house arrest, which led to a scolding by Inspector General Fernando Carrillo who reminded government officials they are obliged to “uphold, not attack the law.”