Colombia’s former President Ernesto Samper and journalist Claudia Lopez meet in court on Monday over a column wherein Lopez fiercely criticized Samper.
The former President sued the journalist for a column in which she implied Samper was involved in the murder of a key witness in the so-called “8000 process” against the former President, who was investigated for receiving money from the Cali cartel in the 1994 presidential campaign.
Lopez published the column on July 11, 2006 in weekly Semana to criticize the possible appointment of Samper as Colombia’s ambassador to France.
In her column, Lopez wrote that then President Uribe “does not see in him a politician capable of selling himself to the mafia to enter the presidency (something we all know, but that the bribed justice in Congress failed to judge), of corrupting the institutions to impose (Horacio) Serpa as his successor (as we all experienced, but were able to avoid), asked help to not extradite the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers (as he personally reported to Uribe) and God knows if he also interceded in plans to eliminate those who could be key pieces in the unravelling of his adventures, like (key-witness) “the little blonde”and the former driver of Serpa, who did not die of the flu but were gunned down when they were going to tell the Prosecutor General’s Office what they knew (something that only the killers can corroborate if they didn’t kill them too.)
Because of this passage, Samper demands $27 thousand in damages of Lopez, who says she has the right to her opinion.