On the fifth day of Colombia’s trial of the century, the Supreme Court on Wednesday was scheduled to hear the testimonies of two former paramilitary chiefs, one politician and the security chief of former President Alvaro Uribe.
The hearings are being held behind closed doors and no information was leaked to the press about the content of the testimonies.
Witness #13 | Hernando Mauricio Marroquin
Hernando Mauricio Marroquin was called to testify by House Representative Alvaro Hernan Prada who, like Uribe, has been charged with fraud and bribery because of his alleged attempts to manipulate witnesses who have testified that the former president and his brother formed a death squad in the 1990s.
According to Prada, Marroquin is his neighbor and friend who helped him and another friend of Prado, Rodrigo Vidal, meet up with businessman Carlos Lopez, who was wiretapped when calling one of the key witnesses who claim Uribe formed a death squad five days after the court filed criminal charges against the far-right politicians in February last year.
In that phone call Lopez told Luis Guillermo Monsalve that “they’re terrified. Mr. Prada is scared shitless and the son of a bitch asked me to help.”
This help allegedly consisted of trying to convince Monsalve to retract his claims and falsely accuse opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda of conspiracy, Lopez was recorded saying.
Witness #14 | Hernando Torres
Hernando Torres is a former House Representative of the Conservative Party. According to Uribe, Torres alerted him about Hilda Niño, a prosecutor who admitted ties to drug trafficker “El Mellizo.”
Torres’ family was allegedly familiar with Niño, who claimed that an investigation of former Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre and his deputy Jorge Perdomo into Uribe’s alleged role in the formation of a death squad was a conspiracy.
The court has so far refused to sign off on the plea bargain because, according to wiretap transcripts, she had been conspiring with Diego Cadena, Uribe’s fixer, for more than a year to fabricate these claims.
These wiretaps are part of the evidence against Uribe and could get the corrupt prosecutor, Cadena and Uribe in even more legal trouble than they already are.
Witness #15 | Hamilton Mosquera
Hamilton Mosquera is a former member of paramilitary organization AUC who was called in by Uribe’s defense to confirm claims by a former paramitary commander, “Victor,” that the former president was the victim of a conspiracy.
Victor, who was the first to be called to trial in this case, reportedly destroyed Uribe’s conspiracy theory by admitting he was bribed by Uribe’s fixer and surrendering evidence that would support his claim.
According to Cepeda, who is the victim of Uribe’s alleged fraud and bribery practices, both Mosquera and Victor are part of a “cartel of false witnesses” called in at the last-minute to reiterate the conspiracy claim already proven bogus by the Supreme Court.
Witness #16 | Gustavo Adolfo Rodriguez
Gustavo Adolfo Rodriguez is Uribe’s former security chief. It is unclear what his role in his former boss’ alleged criminal practices is.