Luis Carlos Restrepo released a letter criticizing Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for treating him like “a criminal” and requested assurances for his safe return to Colombia, reported local media.
The former High Commissioner for Peace sent a letter to Justice Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra, accusing the government of condemning him without proof.
“[Santos’] remarks, Mr. Minister, devoid of any legal support, are another example of the siege to which I have been subjected to by the present government, headed by President Juan Manuel Santos, who has prejudged my behavior and tried to make me appear before the public as a criminal, ” Restrepo stated in the letter released by W Radio.
Restrepo is accused of facilitating the false demobilization of a FARC front by paying homeless people to look and act like trained guerrillas before surrendering to authorities in 2006.
A Bogota judge lifted an international arrest warrant for Restrepo Friday, citing “insufficient merit” to jail him while awaiting trial.
He faces charges of obstruction of justice, fraud, weapons possession and trafficking. The Colombian government has assured his safety upon his return from an undisclosed location abroad.
The former official asked for authorities to respect his status as a “free citizen enjoying the full rights to move in Colombia and abroad,” and requested that the proper security measures be put in place before his potential return to the country.