Ex-Agriculture Minister Andres Felipe Arias has said that he will “respond to the call of justice,” following the Colombian prosecutor general’s request that he be put in jail while the trial moves forward.
“As I always have done, I will appear before this call from the Prosecutor General’s Office and any other call from the justice [system],” said Arias in a communique.
The former minister also stated that “my behavior has always been transparent, honorable and guided by law,” and said, “I will not rest (…) until I demonstrate my innocence.
Arias is accused of involvement in the Agro Ingreso Seguro (AIS) scandal, in which government subsidies intended for poor rural farmers instead ended up in the hands of the country’s wealthiest families.
On Monday, Prosecutor General Viviane Morales requested a trial date at a Bogota court in which she will formally charge Arias for illegally forming contracts and embezzlement, and request his arrest as the trial moves forward.