Fugitive congresswoman Aida Merlano, who escaped prison in October, wants to surrender herself under conditions, according to her daughter.
In a post on Instagram, Merlano’s daughter published a statement in which the disgraced Conservative Party politician said she has “every intention of surrendering myself” under the conditions she is allowed to prove she was unjustly convicted of election fraud.
According to the statement, Merlano claims that the judge who convicted her ignored evidence that would prove police offers planted evidence when raiding her campaign office in March last year.
“I only want, I reiterate, to be judged fairly and my rights respected in order to submit myself to the rule of law,” the statement said.
I am already looking for a legal way to get to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights so that this respectable entity can guarantee in my case a fair trial in accordance with the Constitution and the Law, and not because of political and economic interests.
Statement attributed to Aida Merlano
Merlano became the first-ever senator-elect to be jailed on election fraud charges in April last year after prosecutors found evidence of an elaborate vote-buying scheme at her campaign office two days after she was elected.
The former lawmaker was sentenced to 15 years in prison in September only to break out of the Buen Pastor women’s prison in the capital Bogota two weeks later.
Her escape caused an unprecedented scandal and cost the job of both the prison director and the director of prison authority INPEC who would have had to approve her leaving prison for a teeth-whitening procedure.
The senator’s demand for a second trial is curious as she broke out of prison before appealing the Supreme Court decision to convict her for conspiracy to commit a crime, election fraud and the illegal possession of firearms.