Former Interior Minister and Ambassador Sabas Pretelt de la Vega, accused of bribing members of Congress to re-elect ex-President Alvaro Uribe, will not face trial until the investigation is redone legally, El Espectador announced Friday.
The Supreme Court trial against Pretelt de la Vega began Friday. Magistrates nullified the indictment in the first day of the trial, ruling that the investigation against Pretelt de la Vega violated the procedural rights of the accused.
According to the judges, the Prosecutor General erred by allowing an officer lacking legal authority to run the investigation.
Pretelt de la Vega has been accused of bribing former Congresswoman Yidis Medina. The ex-minister allegedly offered political favors, including a notary office, to Medina in exchange for her vote in favor of a 2004 constitutional change that would have authorized then-President Uribe to run for re-election in 2006 for his third term.
The ex-congresswoman has already been convicted for accepting the bribe in what is known as the “yidispolitica” scandal.
Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office found Pretelt de la Vega, who was minister of the interior under the Uribe administration and later served as Colombian ambassador to Italy, guilty of bribery in August 2010.
The case against Pretelt de la Vega was sent back to the office of Prosecutor General Viviane Morales, where the investigation must be reconducted by a qualified official.