Former presidential adviser Jose Obdulio Gaviria cited security concerns as the reason for his absence from his libel hearing on Tuesday.
Gaviria, along with former Vice President Francisco Santos, is being sued by unions who claim they were threatened after comments made by the two officials linking the union’s activities to terrorism. Neither appeared at yesterday’s hearing.
Gaviria’s lawyer issued a statement at his trial explaining his client’s absence.
“My client is a public figure … and has been widely known by the community in general,” the lawyer said. “He fears a bit for his presence in an environment like this.”
Santos on Tuesday rejected the libel lawsuit and said that it is full of “procedural aberrations,” that prosecutors made numerous errors in the process, and that the judge who charged him staged a “media show” around the trial.