More than a year after Colombia’s Supreme Court opened an investigation into former President Alvaro Uribe on alleged witness tampering charges, no court date has been set, according to weekly Semana.
The court announced the investigation in February last year after it found evidence that Uribe and far-right House Representative Alvaro Hernan Prada had been trying to manipulate witnesses who have testified that Uribe was one of the founding members of the “Bloque Metro” death squad.
The Supreme Court dismissed a request from Uribe’s defense to drop the charges four months ago, promising that “as soon as this ruling is finalized, the investigative office will proceed to use the evidence… in the opening of a criminal investigation.”
However, no court date has been set for Uribe’s case despite evidence of witness tampering that has been public knowledge for months, wrote journalist Daniel Coronell in his weekly column.
This case dates back from 2012, when left-wing senator Ivan Cepeda, a long-standing adversary of Uribe’s, launched a book in which he presented witness accounts and evidence that Uribe’s estate in Antioquia was used to form and train the paramilitary group that left thousands of victims.
The name of former President Alvaro Uribe is linked to many…events related to the origin and expansion of paramilitary groups, and the serious acts committed by them.
Medellin Peace Tribunal
Uribe sued Cepeda, claiming that the leftist lawmaker had himself engaged in witness tampering, most notably Juan Guillermo Monsalve, the son of the then-caretaker of Uribe’s ranch who became a member of the Bloque Metro.
While investigating Cepeda, the court found evidence that it was in fact Uribe and his associates who had engaged in witness tampering.
Monsalve presented evidence to the Supreme Court detailing visits and communications he had received from Uribe associates with the aim of intimidating him into altering his testimony.
Multiple other witnesses and potential witnesses have either been murdered or died under suspicious circumstances.
This evidence led the Supreme Court to order the investigation into Uribe, but has yet to call the controversial former president and leader of the far-right Democratic Center party to court.
Coronell reminded the Supreme Court that it “has the legal obligation to set a date and an hour to begin the interrogation and, following these proceedings, also to determine if former President Alvaro Uribe ought to be arrested.”