A former Colombian lawmaker, convicted for accepting bribes to vote in favor of a constitutional change needed for former President Alvaro Uribe to run for second office, has been absolved of kidnapping charges.
The superior tribunal of the northeastern city of Bucaramanga revoked a 32-year prison sentence for kidnapping for which former Liberal Party House Representative Yidis Medina was convicted subsequent to her accepting charges for bribery and implicating top officials of the first Uribe administration (2002-2006).
The kidnapping accusations stemmed from 2007 were first made by then-senator Luis Alberto Gil who Medina had accused of ‘Parapolitics,” or the deploying of death squads to coerce voters into voting for a specific candidate.
Gil was subsequently convicted for his ties to paramilitary groups.
Judicial authorities did not prosecute the former lawmaker until after she had been convicted for bribery and accused Uribe’s former Interior and Justice, and Social Protection Minister of having offered her the bribe for which she was sent to prison.
NEWS ARCHIVE: Yidis Medina
Medina has always insisted the kidnapping charges were trumped up and part of a “vengeance” for her admitting to the bribery.
According to the now-revoked kidnapping sentence, Medina was involved in the 2000 kidnapping by FARC guerrillas of public officials whose families were told to pay the ransom to a foundation of which the politician was adviser.
Following her acquittal, the judge ordered her immediate release of the lawmaker over the kidnapping. However, this doesn’t mean the former congresswoman is now free. She still has to serve part of her almost 5-year bribery sentence, which she is allowed to do at home.