A recent testimony by former paramilitary leader “Don Berna” has given weight to the allegation that the government of Alvaro Uribe plotted with paramilitaries to discredit the Supreme Court, said the high court’s former president Monday.
“Time has proven us right,” Judge Jaime Arrubla told Caracol Radio. “There was a real conspiracy against the Supreme Court of Justice. We knew this was going on. It broke under my presidency and it has become clear that the court was victim to wiretapping, the shadowing of magistrates and the illegal spying of financial activities by [financial intelligence unit] UIAF.”
According to Arrubla, the testimony released by Colombian media Sunday has added to existing evidence of the alleged government-paramilitary conspiracy.
The Supreme Court judge said he hopes the Prosecutor General’s Office will be able to convict those guilty of the illegal wiretapping and spying.
Arrubla said, “I hesitate to point fingers. The Prosecutor General’s Office will get to each person taking part in this conspiracy as some are already in jail and others fleeing the country.”
Don Berna testified before U.S. and Colombian prosecutors that he and his representatives plotted with members of the administration of former President Alvaro Uribe in 2008 to discredit the Supreme Court.
The former president and members of his government accused judges of having ties to drug traffickers, and of bribing witnesses to testify that allies of Uribe had paramilitary links. The scandal caused great friction between the executive and judicial branch.
Following revelations about the illegal wiretapping of Supreme Court magistrates and the retraction of accusations of bribery by former AUC members, several of Uribe’s closest aides were sent to jail for their alleged role in the conspiracy. Uribe himself is under investigation by a congressional committee.