Former deputy Sigifredo Lopez’s attorney filed an appeal under a habeas corpus writ, which argued that the prosecution had exceeded the time allowable to detain Lopez without trial.
Judge Maria Patricia Cruz ruled that the prosecution has 20 days to gather evidence, meaning Lopez could be held until June 20. The prosecution awaits an FBI voice analysis of a videotape allegedly showing Lopez arranging his own kidnapping as well as that of 11 other deputies from the department of Valle del Cauca.
“If June 20 arrives and not all the evidence is here, then the prosecution will have to move forward with what they have,” said attorney Alfredo Montenegro.
Lopez’s colleagues were kidnapped by the FARC in 2002, and were killed in captivity five years later.
Lopez has maintained his innocence, claiming he does not appear in the damning video. A former FARC guerrilla testified last month that Lopez does not appear in the clip, although he has made statements in the past that implicated the politician.