Colombia’s State Council agreed on Thursday to review a request by the ex-Bogota Mayor to be reinstated and will question the Inspector General’s Office as to the validity of the request.
The Colombian State Council, with Magistrate Gerardo Arenas in charge, made the decision on Thursday to accept a request by ex-Bogota Mayor, Gustavo Petro, to be reinstated. The council, one of Colombia’s highest courts, will not pass judgement on the request however until the Inspector General’s Office, which removed Petro in the first place, has imparted its opinion.
|“Listening to both sides guarantees the right to due process, defense and equality of the parties…it is necessary to listen to not only the plaintiff but also to the entity which enforced the sanction.”|
The Inspector General’s Office has been given 5 days to respond to the State Council’s questions.
According to Arenas, the opinions of the Inspector General’s Office is of high importance, “after which we will make our own decision on the adoption or denial of their response.”
“Listening to both sides guarantees the right to due process, defense and equality of the parties…it is necessary to listen to not only the plaintiff but also to the entity which enforced the sanction,” stated Arenas.
The State Council is conducting its own investigation into the dismissal of the Bogota Mayor with President Santos already having stated that if the council was to rule the dismissal to be unlawful, he would reinstate Petro.
The Petro case has recently come under scrutiny with regards to President Juan Manuel’s Santos’ decision to enforce Petro’s dismissal despite human rights organizations stating that to do so would be in breach of the mayor’s fundamental political rights.
The head of state’s decision has led to questions regarding whether it is obligatory or optional for Colombia to follow rulings made by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR).
Ex-Bogota Mayor, Gustavo Petro was removed from office and banned from politics for 15 years over supposed “irregularities” that occurred during his attempts to transfer the city’s private garbage collection system into public hands.
The State Council has already, on March 18, 2014, agreed to the dismissal of Petro but decided to re-investigate the case after questions arose around the validity of the decision.