The Colombian magistrate widely considered the motor behind investigations of ties between lawmakers and paramilitary groups handed in his resignation Wednesday.
Magistrate Ivan Velasquez’ letter of resignation comes just three weeks after the judge was relieved of his position as head of the special investigation unit of the parapolitics scandal in which over 3,000 Colombian politicians, public officials and businessmen are suspected of being involved with paramilitary organizations.
During his time as investigator Velasquez was in charge of hundreds of cases which led to the conviction of the cousin of former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, along with over 135 other members of Congress.
After the judge was relieved of his position of six years, popular columnist Cecilia Orozco accused the court of removing him for political reasons.
The journalist had questioned the court’s official explanation that Velasquez had just completed his term and she suggested that he had been removed under pressure from politicians who wanted to upset the investigations.
The Supreme Court was forced to drop the charges of defamation against Orozco who writes for newspaper El Espectador, and said that the column fell under “the fundamental right to opinion.”
According to El Espectador, the consensus is that most judges agree they will not accept the letter of resignation which comes less than three weeks after his removal as head of investigations of parapolitics.