Last week Silva sent an open letter to the U.S. State Department asking for diplomatic immunity for the former president. Silva said Monday, “I am not defending the former President Uribe who, incidentally, I would defend in any case.” He said he is defending the principal of diplomatic immunity as outlined in international treaties.
Silva said that the principle of diplomatic immunity protects former officials who made decisions on behalf of the state. Silva said that he has defended the diplomatic immunity of Colombia’s leaders in the past. He mentioned that he defended former President Alfonso Lopez Michelsen when he was called to testify against Manuel Antonio Noriega of Panama, and then-Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos when he was called to Ecuador to testify about “Operation Phoenix.”
The ambassador’s letter comes a month after Uribe was summoned to testify in a civil case against Alabama coal giant Drummond over the company’s alleged ties to paramilitary death squads. An anti-Uribe activist thew the subpoena at Uribe’s feet when he was visiting Georgetown University in Washington D.C.