The court will investigate if former House of Representatives Congressmen Odin Sanchez and Edgar Ulises Torres – who are on trial for parapolitics – were involved in crimes against humanity committed by the paramilitaries who they are alleged to have worked with.
The former congressmen allegedly had ties with the Elmer Cardenas bloc of paramilitary group the AUC, led by Freddy “El Aleman” Rendon Herrera.
The Supreme Court Tuesday denied a U.S. request for El Aleman’s extradition, saying the former top paramilitary leader must first answer to Colombian justice and make reparations to his victims.
The court’s preliminary investigation into crimes against humanity charges follows a request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for access to all reports released in Colombia that pertain to extrajudicial killings.
The commander of Colombia’s armed forces General Freddy Padilla took umbrage at the request, saying that Colombia’s justice system is adequate and there is no reason for an international court to interfere.
The ICC has stressed in the past that it will only intervene in Colombia when there is a failure by the state to bring war criminals, or those who have committed crimes against humanity, to justice.