A former guerrilla accused of staging a fake 2006 FARC demobilization, is in talks with the Prosecutor General’s office to reduce his sentence in exchange for information before the case goes to trial.
Raul Agudelo Medina, alias “Olivo Saldana,” is accused of having set up the false demobilization with Colombia’s former Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo, drug traffickers and members of the military to receive legal and financial benefits and add political currency to the then-increasingly controversial demobilization of paramilitary groups. The demobilization took part just before the 2006 presidential elections in which former President Alvaro Uribe was reelected.
For the moment there have only been negotiations, however Saldana has the option to settle the case if he accepts the charges of procedural fraud, embezzlement, and the manufacturing, trafficking and possession of firearms for private use by military forces.
If Saldana agrees he will serve only half his sentence. “We are in the process of reducing his sentence and it is very important to reach this negotiation with the prosecutor,” said the former guerilla’s lawyer.
Saldana’s defense has not yet received a response from the Prosecutor General, but expects negotiations to take place next week and presented before a trial judge in Bogota.
The false demobilization scandal has caused great tensions between the Prosecutor General’s Office and former President Alvaro Uribe, who is accusing the judicial branch of a political persecution of members of his administrations. Restrepo fled the country before prosecutors could file charges and is hiding at an undisclosed location.