The Accusations Commission of the Colombian Congress has proposed an initiative that will exempt any member of Congress on trial from staying in jail until sentencing, the newspaper El Tiempo reported Wednesday.
The initiative would empower the Accusations Commission to excuse former and current legislators from being detained until the final sentencing in their trial by placing them under the jurisdiction of the commission.
The commission would also be granted the power to investigate the Colombian comptroller, prosecutor general, auditor, vice president, ombudsman and judges, according to conservative Chairman of the Accusations Commission German Blanco.
The proposal would change the name of the Accusations Commission to the Research Commission, and create a second body for criminal and disciplinary proceedings against members of Congress called the Special Chamber of Judgment.
Eighteen legislators have signed the initiative, which was filed with the secretary of the Colombian Senate.
In early August, members of Congress submitted a legislative initiative which would grant legislators special immunity from prosecution and an extra right to appeal. If passed, lawmakers “will not be charged, prosecutors, detained, or deprived of liberty without prior authorization of their respective house.”
Because of the large number of former members of Congress under investigation for corruption or ties to paramilitary groups, the two initiatives are drawing strong opposition.