The Supreme Court told Colombia Reports on Wednesday that it will “very probably” end its investigation against former President Alvaro Uribe after his resignation from the Senate.
The Supreme Court spokesperson said that if Uribe formalizes his resignation and becomes an ordinary citizen again, his case would become a matter for the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The high court announced Tuesday that it had formalized the charges of witness tampering and procedural fraud against Uribe and far-right House Representative Alvaro Hernan Prada.
In an apparent panic reaction, Uribe announced he would resign from Congress.
The former president’s defense attorney, Jaime Granados, told newspaper El Espectador that he and Uribe expected to be called to testify, not to be formally charged and interrogated by the country’s top court as suspects.
The mounting evidence implicating that the former president and his brother formed death squads in the 1990s have put both the Uribe family and the incoming government of President-elect Ivan Duque in the corner.
Duque, who has no relevant executive experience, has called his predecessor Colombia’s “eternal president” while on campaign and has been called Uribe’s puppet by critics.
If the Supreme Court decides to drop the charges, this would not mean the end of Uribe’s legal nightmare, but would likely delay the investigation against the hard-right former president even more.
Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office is notoriously corrupt and inefficient, and has failed to follow up on lower court orders to investigate Uribe. A Supreme Court order to investigate the former president would be much harder to ignore though.
Duque won’t be able to propose Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez’ successor until 2020, leaving the fate of the possible prosecution investigation against his political patron in the hands of a political ally of outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos and former VP German Vargas for another two years.