A Supreme Court judge has called for an investigation into the roles of former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe’s brother and cousin in a conspiracy to discredit the judiciary, reported news network Noticias Uno Sunday.
Magistrate Ivan Velasquez — the main investigator of politicians’ paramilitary ties, who has been the victim of a smear campaign — has pointed to contradictions in the statements given by the ex-president’s brother and cousin, Santiago and Mario Uribe, in the investigation of Sergio Gonzalez, a lawyer who was convicted for his part in the conspiracy.
Gonzalez, the defense lawyer of former paramilitary chief “Tasmania,” was sentenced to five years and 10 months in jail last week for bribing his client to frame the magistrate by falsely testifying that he was told to accuse then president Alvaro Uribe of conspiracy to commit murder.
Gonzalez is a neighbor of Santiago Uribe, while his office shares a building with that of Mario Uribe. Both men were named by Tasmania during the trial of Gonzales, reportedly congratulating him in providing false testimony.
The smear campaign against Velasquez was one of the main planks of a wider plot to discredit judges who were investigating Colombia’s “parapolitics” scandal — a term used to describe the collusion between members of the now defunct paramilitary organization and Congressmen, in which Uribe has been implicated.
According to Velasquez, Gonzalez’s successful conviction should encourage prosecutors to investigate attempts to discredit ongoing investigations into the parapolitics.