Former Colombian Interior Minister Sabas Pretelt de la Vega denies bribing congressmen to secure the 2006 re-election of then-President Alvaro Uribe, despite his conviction by the country’s Inspector General.
In an interview with W Radio, the disgraced official said he will appeal the decision to bar him from holding public office for twelve years for bribing congresswoman Yidis Medina, who is serving more than four year under house arrest for her part in the scandal.
According to Pretelt de la Vega, Medina told his lawyers explicitly she was never offered a notary office in exchange for her vote. “She insists I didn’t offer anything,” the former minister told the radio station.
Pretelt de la Vega offered his resignation as ambassador to Rome when the Prosecutor General opened a criminal investigation into the bribery scandal earlier this month. According to the charges, Pretelt de la Vega and his colleague Diego Palacio offered notary offices to congressmen to secure a majority in Congress to approve a constitutional change that allowed Uribe to run for his second term in 2006.