One of Colombia’s Supreme Court justices facing corruption allegations has denied requests by his colleagues to step down while a criminal investigation is pending.
Justice Gustavo Malo had been asked to step down after both he and his daughter became the subject in bribery and extortion investigations that caused the biggest judicial crisis in modern history.
Malo rejected the request of his 22 colleagues, but agreed to abandon the pending investigations into two senators who allegedly paid him off.
These two investigations and suspicions the Supreme Court justice’s daughter charged justice officials for jobs given them through her father’s pressure are investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office and Congress.
The alleged corruption between the legislative and the judicial branch has not just affected the legitimacy and credibility of Colombia’s investigation.
Congress, publicly considered Colombia’s most corrupt institution, is now in charge of investigating the allegedly corrupt justices, causing an unprecedented judicial problem because of the implication of three of its members.
Malo and justices Leonidas Bustos and Francisco Ricaurte are facing charges of having received a fee to rule favorably in the cases of multiple congressmen accused either of “parapolitics” or corruption.
The case is one of multiple that came to light after the arrest of the prosecution’s anti-corruption chief, who allegedly mediated between the lawmakers and the court officials.
The top prosecutor, Gustavo Moreno, was arrested in June after the United States Drug Enforcement Agency warned his immediate superior, Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez, about the top official’s alleged corruption.
The DEA wants Moreno to appear before an American judge as at least one of the bribes took place on American soil.
Since the initial arrest the corruption scandal has marred the Supreme Court, Congress, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the transitional justice system in charge of trying paramilitary warlords demobilized with umbrella organization AUC between 2003 and 2006.