An ongoing criminal case against a former Colombian senator was postponed after the Supreme Court judge found out his own sister was to deliver the testimony, local media reported on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court judge declared himself incompetent when he was surprised by his sister taking the witness stand in the “parapolitics” case against former Senator Piedad Zuccardi, according to Colombia’s El Universal newspaper.
The case was delayed on the same day the Supreme Court had allowed former paramilitary ringleaders to testify if they had any links to the defendant.
The “parapolitics” case against the former senator has been delayed to September 22.
In 2010, Zuccardi was reported to have fled to Costa Rica where she unsuccessfully sought asylum.
Following Costa Rica, the then-fugitive senator went to Panama, which in 2010 granted political asylum to the former director of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency DAS, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, while she was being investigated for her role in the illegal wiretapping of Supreme Court justices, congressmen, and presumed critics of former President Alvaro Uribe.
Zuccardi was arrested in February 2013 on accusations of having taken part in meetings with the now-defunct paramilitary group, the AUC, who allegedly provided support for her congressional campaign in 2002.
Zuccardi is currently accused of having ties to paramilitary ringleaders.
The former head of the AUC, Salvatore Mancuso, alleged that the ex-senator had contacted two former commanders of the Bloque Heroes Montes de Maria wing of the AUC, Edwar Cobos Tellez alias “Diego Vecino” and alias “Ernesto Baez,” to ensure Alfonso Lopez Cossio’s campaign for the governorship of the northern state of Bolivar was successful.
Mancuso also alleged that Zuccardi had requested his assistance in her pursuit of a congressional seat.
The AUC operated from 1997 until 2006, and within this period formed a symbiotic relationship with many figures in the Colombian government and security forces. The relationship became public in 2006 and became known as “parapolitics,” which resulted in the conviction of dozens of lawmakers and hundreds of other public officials.