Prosecution asks court to warrant arrest of former comptroller general

Sandra Morelli (L) and Eduardo Montealegre

Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office on Wednesday asked the court to warrant the arrest of the country’s former Comptroller General who has accused the chief prosecutor of being complicit in a major embezzlement scheme.

Former Comptroller General Sandra Morelli has been accused of corruption over irregularities concerning the selling of two government office buildings and the renting of current offices during her tenure as Comptroller General.

Morelli is facing charges of embezzlement, approving contracts without the proper legal requirements, falsifying public documents, and wrongful interest in signing contracts to the tune of $41 million.

MORE: Colombia’s chief financial officer accused of embezzling $40.6M

The charges are highly controversial as they were filed after Morelli accused Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre of being complicit in the embezzling of $500 million by SaludCoop, once Colombia’s largest health care intermediary SaludCoop that was put under government control after defaulting on debt.

MORE: Comptroller convicts Colombia’s once-biggest health intermediary of fraud

Montealegre, a close ally of President Juan Manuel Santos, was SaludCoop’s legal adviser since 2004, and thus complicit in the fraud, according to Morelli.

When the company was put under government control in 2011, Montealegre was hired by Santos on a contract basis and elected by Congress to become Prosecutor General in 2012.

MORE: ‘Embezzled health money ended up in political parties’ hands’

Morelli, claiming the charges against her were filed to avenge her accusations against Montealegre, fled to Italy only hours before leaving office in September.

MORE: Former Comptroller General flees Colombia within hours of term ending


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