Former Interior Minister Sabas Pretelt de la Vega fruitlessly tried to block a criminal investigation against him over the alleged bribery of congressmen to secure the 2006 re-election of then-President Alvaro Uribe.
Pretelt de la Vega petitioned the Prosecutor General’s Office, claiming that the investigation against him by deputy Prosecutor General Fernando Pareja is unconstitutional and must be carried out by Prosecutor General Guillermo Mendoza personally.
The former minister cited article 235 of the constitution, which says the Supreme Court can try “following charges brought by the Prosecutor General.”
Pretelt de la Vega said he doubted his rights “as a citizen who served his country as minister” are guaranteed.
According to the former official, “you have to shoot the minister who pushed through Uribe’s re-election quite neatly.”
Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office barred Pretelt de la Vega from holding public office for twelve years, on the grounds that the ex-minister had bribed congressmen Yidis Medina and Teodolindo Avendaño in 2004 to secure a majority in Congress to approve a constitutional change allowing Uribe to run for a second term in the 2006 elections.
The Prosecutor General’s Office denied Pretelt de la Vega’s petition and will continue the criminal investigation into the bribe, for which Medina was already convicted.