Moreno’s attorney argued that his client would not obstruct the judicial process leading up to his trial and that he does not pose a flight risk since his entire family resides in Bogota, where he is detained.
A Bogota court rejected the request fearing that the ex-mayor, if released, could try to influence the witnesses that will testify against him.
Additionally, “the defense did not prove why the crimes that Samuel Moreno is charged with are no longer serious,” the judge told local media.
The politician will go on trial for his alleged involvement in a public works scandal known as the “Carousel Contraction”, in which contracts were illegally handed to construction conglomerate Nule Group in return for a 6% cut. Moreno and his brother, Colombian Senator Ivan Moreno, made an estimated $5.5 million under the arrangement. Members of the Nule group are currently serving time in prison for the scandal.
Moreno took the mayoral office in 2008, but was suspended in May 2011 and banned from holding public office for one year after reports of his corruption surfaced. In April, Moreno sued the Colombian government for over $100,000 in damages because he was not allowed to work.
Moreno has been in police custody since September 2011.