The president of Colombia’s war crimes tribunal JEP said that his office will press criminal charges against (former) prosecution officials over a failed attempt to extradite late guerrilla commander “Jesus Santrich” to the United States in 2018.
In a press release, JEP president Roberto Carlos Vidal said that prosecution officials and others allegedly committed fraud and manipulated evidence in an attempt to extradite the former commander of the now-defunct guerrilla group FARC on drug trafficking charges.
The JEP was the victim of interference, omissions and malicious actions, which should therefore be investigated by the competent authorities to whom the collected information will be surrendered.
JEP president Roberto Carlos Vidal
The apparently fabricated drug trafficking charges against the former FARC commander triggered a major crisis in the peace process and the rearmament of Santrich and multiple other demobilized guerrillas.
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Former chief prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez resigned in 2019 after the JEP rejected the US government’s extradition request and ordered an investigation into irregularities.
Santrich was killed in Venezuela in 2021 after forming the “Segunda Marquetalia” guerrilla group with his friend, former FARC leader “Ivan Marquez.”
Vidal said that the JEP would release details about the alleged crimes that were committed to justify the request to extradite Santrich and obstruct the war crimes tribunal’s efforts to verify the American drug trafficking allegations.