President Juan Manuel Santos did fly in a private plane belonging to the disgraced Nule group, but not while campaigning or holding office, said the President’s Office Tuesday in response to accusations against the head of state.
Colombian media reported that Santos responded with a letter to a petition from the national oversight network dated April 4, which demanded, among other things, to know whether the president had ever flown in a Nule plane, before or during his campaign for president.
In the letter, the president clarified that between the period in which he renounced his post as defense minister, and the subsequent beginning of his campaign for office, he flew in a plane from Cartagena to Bogota onboard an airplane belonging to Guido Nule, on November 26, 2009.
“That day, being in the hotel Santa Clara, an inconvenience presented itself in regards to boarding the commercial overnight flight to Bogota. So Mr. Guido Nule, who by chance was in the same place and became aware of the misfortune, offered to bring him in his private plane, an offer which was accepted by the president (…) It should be observed that when this happened there was no criminal investigation ongoing in respect to Mr. Nule,” says the letter.
Regarding travel during his campaign, the president maintained that he never flew on a Nule plane, and instead utilized the commercial airline Aviatur.
In addition to the travel-related accusations, judicial proceedings have recently been launched against Santos regarding irregularities in the process of choosing Viviane Morales as Prosecutor General.