Former congresswoman Rocio Arias’s anticipated release from prison this week may be delayed as new bribery charges are brought against her.
Colombia’s Supreme Court has ordered that an investigation be opened against Arias for allegedly receiving perks to give false evidence against Liberal Senator Luis Fernando Velasco.
The decision was made public after a ruling determined Arias’ innocence, who was accused of receiving gifts from the AUC. She is currently finishing serving a sentence for ties to the AUC, including ‘Don Berna’, among others, and was convicted of conspiracy to commit aggravated crimes in Colombia’s para-politics scandal, reports newspaper El Espectador.
Although Senator Velasco did not press charges against Arias, after his testimony the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court determined that the lies evident in the testimony of the disgraced congresswoman should be more closely examined in the context of her background and record.
According to the Chamber, Arias’ statement may have been generated with a deliberate intention to discredit the senator for the benefit of other parties.
Liberal Party President Cesar Gaviria said in affidavit that the charges against Senator Velasco were part of a political plot orchestrated by his opponents in the department of Cauca, including Rocio Arias.
The Prosecutor General’s Office provided evidence that figured in the conversations of former paramilitaries detained in various prisons in Valle del Cauca, in which it was evident that a deal was made amongst demobilized paramilitaries to discredit Velasco with false testimonies.