Colombia’s former peace commissioner, who fled the country on January 8 to escape arrest, has released a statement criticizing Colombian prosecutors and declaring his intention to seek asylum overseas, reported Radio Caracol Friday.
Luis Carlos Restrepo, who served during the 2002-2010 presidency of Alvaro Uribe and is wanted by Colombian authorities over the 2006 “false demobilization” scandal, released the statement through press freedom organization Reporters without Borders.
From his unknown location Restrepo declared, “Today, dressed in the garb of law, criminals have taken over the prosecution. If they were able to, this assembly who accuse me will not hesitate to kill me when I am available to them.”
Restrepo is wanted on charges of conspiracy, embezzlement by appropriation, fraud, trafficking and possession of weapons, over the scandal, and contempt of court charge over his disappearance.
The former official, who oversaw paramilitary and guerrilla demobilizations during his tenure, is alleged to have plotted with imprisoned FARC guerrilla “Olivo Saldaña” and a drug trafficker to pay homeless and unemployed people in the central Tolima department $278 each to train, live and act like FARC guerrillas, then surrender to security forces.
Raul Agudelo Medina, alias Olivo Saldaña, Wednesday claimed that the false demobilization never happened.
Restrepo released a statement Wednesday via Twitter urging Uribe loyalists to oppose Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, in what appears to be a concerted offensive alongside Uribe, who has supported the decision of Restrepo to flee and criticized the legal proceedings against him.