The Supreme Court Monday reprimanded the U.S. Ambassador to Colombia for what they termed “undue interference” in the case of retired a Colombian Navy Admiral on trial for alleged ties to the paramilitary and drug traffickers.
After the prosecutor on the case told the Supreme Court last Wednesday that there was insufficient evidence to convict Admiral Gabriel Arango Bacci, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield said Thursday that there was evidence that linked the retired Admiral to drug traffickers.
“The government that I represent has an interest in this,” said Brownfield. “There is evidence of links between this case and the trafficking of drugs to the United States. We have the right and the interest, we have evidence and of course we are going to observe carefully the outcome of this case.”
In 2008 a military tribunal found Bacci guilty of receiving US$115,000 for selling coordinates of Navy patrols to drug traffickers, so that the traffickers could avoid authorities and safely transit drugs out of Colombia. Bacci requested a civil hearing and is on trial before the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court said Monday that Brownfield had no jurisdiction to comment on matters of civil justice.
“It is the opinion of this Court that it was an improper intrusion by the Embassador to the United States into the matter, when he publicly announced that he has evidence and information on this issue,” CMI reported Magistrate Alfredo Gómez Quintero as saying.
The Magistrate requested that if Brownfield had pertinent information, that he had it over to authorities.
Bacci maintains his innocence and says he is the victim of a plot to discredit him.