Colombia’s National Electoral Council (CNE) on Wednesday called former President Juan Manuel Santos to testify about allegedly illegal contributions to his 2014 campaign.
The council, which consists of representatives of the political parties, decided there was enough merit to investigate whether Santos’ 2014 campaign received illegal support from Odebrecht.
The former president’s friend and former campaign manager, Roberto Prieto, is serving a five-year prison sentence for receiving illegal campaign contributions in 2010.
But Odebrecht allegedly also made illegal contributions to Santos and his rival Oscar Ivan Zuluaga in 2014, which is investigated by the prosecution, Congress and now the CNE.
The former president was called to testify before the CNE commission investigating the illegal contributions to the Santos campaign on October 4.
CNE commission members
- Magistrate Renato Rafael Contreras (Democratic Center)
- Magistrate Doris Mendez (Liberal Party)
- Magistrate Luis Guillermo Perez (Democratic Pole)
In a press release, the CNE said it had opened a preliminary investigation into the alleged 2014 campaign “to establish the existence of new facts that may be subject to investigation of this body.”
The National Electoral Council opens a preliminary inquiry following the copied charges made by the Prosecutor General’s Office, for the alleged violation of financial regulations in the second round of the 2014 presidential campaign financing of former candidate Juan Manuel Santos Calderon in file 3860-19, in order to establish the existence of new facts that may be the subject of investigation by this body.
National Electoral Council
Whether the investigations of any of the bodies will lead anywhere is hardly certain. Multiple of the parties that allegedly took part in receiving the illegal funds for the 2014 campaign are represented in both the CNE and the Accusations Committee.
Former chief prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez and President Ivan Duque have also been implicated in the scandal through Odebrecht’s co-conspirator in its corruption practices, banking conglomerate Grupo Aval.