A lawyer has been sentenced to five years in prison for bribing his client, a former paramilitary chief, to frame a judge by falsely testifying that he was told to accuse then president Alvaro Uribe of conspiracy to commit murder.
Lawyer Sergio Gonzalez, who was representing former paramilitary chief Jose Orlando Moncada, alias “Tasmania”, has been charged with libel and sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison for instructing his client to lie about Supreme Court Judge Ivan Velasquez.
Tasmania initially claimed that Valasquez — who was appointed by the Supreme Court to head investigations into ties between politicians and paramilitary organizations — had bribed him to accuse then president Alvaro Uribe of ordering the murder of Antioquian paramilitary boss “Rene”.
Tasmania sent a letter to then President Uribe in 2007, in which he denounced the alleged pressure he was being put under by Valasquez, reports newspaper El Espectador.
However in 2009, Tasmania revoked this testimony, claiming that he was offered over $200,000, a new house and prison benefits to smear Judge Valasquez. According to Tasmania, he was pressured by Gonzalez into making the statements, and it was the lawyer who gave him the document stating Velasquez wanted to smear Uribe, which had formed the basis of his attacks on the judge.
During his testimony in the hearing against Gonzalez, Tasmania spoke of contact with Alvaro Uribe’s brother and cousin, Santiago and Mario Uribe, who he claims congratulated him on his false testimony.
Velasquez was appointed by the Supreme Court as the main investigator of politicians’ ties to military death squads, and has frequently clashed with former president Uribe regarding the scandal.