The investigation into the 2008 kidnap and murder of eleven young men from Soacha will continue despite the release of seventeen soldiers implicated in the country’s most famous “false positives” case, the chairman of Colombia’s Supreme Judicial Council said Friday.
The suspects were released on Thursday after their defense attorney successfully argued that their clients had not been granted trial within the legal term of 90 days. Prosecutors objected the controversial decision and accused the defense of stalling the trial.
But even with the suspects at liberty, the investigation will continue, Supreme Judicial Council Chairman Judge Maria Mercedes Lopez told W Radio.
“The people were released, but the investigation continues. The criminal process does not end,” the magistrate said.
The seventeen soldiers are suspected of being part of a scheme that involved the recruitment of young men in Soacha who were later executed and reported as members of illegal armed groups killed in combat.
The Soacha case caused international outrage in late 2008 and led to a series of investigations into alleged extrajudicial executions that have implicated more than 1,200 members of Colombia’s military.