The Colombian Supreme Court on Tuesday nullified the bribery charges against former Interior and Justice Minister Sabas Pretelt de la Vega, who is accused of having bribed members of Congress to secure the 2006 re-election of former President Alvaro Uribe.
The Supreme Court sustained claims by the defense of Pretelt de la Vega that the Prosecutor General’s Office had made an error in the proceeding that made Vice Prosecutor General Fernando Pareja in charge of the case instead of Guillermo Mendoza Diago, who was the prosecutor general at the time.
Current Prosecutor General Morales will now be fully responsible for re-starting the investigation against Pretelt de la Vega who had been accused of bribing former Congresswoman Yidis Medina.
The ex-minister allegedly offered political favors, including a notary office, to the jailed congresswoman in exchange for her vote in favor of a 2004 constitutional change that authorized Uribe to run for re-election in 2006 for his second term.
Medina has already been convicted for accepting the bribe in what is known as the “yidispolitica” scandal.
Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office had found Pretelt de la Vega guilty of bribery in August 2010 and he was subsequently banned from holding public office for 12 years.