The inquiry against Colombia’s former prosecutor general has stalled as officials wait for government approval to gather testimony from the key witness in the case, reported Radio Caracol.
Luis Camilo Osorio is accused of building ties with paramilitaries while in charge of the prosecutor general’s office. His case is now in limbo while officials from the Accusation Commission of the Chamber of Representatives wait for government approval to fly to Canada and interview the key witness, according to the head of the investigation, German Blanco.
The witness in question is Richard Riaño, a former agent with the investigatory branch of the Prosecutor General’s office, who was dismissed from his post after uncovering paramilitary infiltration of the office in 2002. He has been in exile in Canada for the past nine years after being convicted for allegedly leaking inciminating evidence against Osorio. Riaño denies the allegations.
Blanco said officials have submitted requests to travel to Vancouver and take Riaño’s statement, which have yet to be approved.
Blanco called Riaño’s testimony critical to the case.
“The statement is necessary and urgently needed to maintain and continue the investigation,” Blanco said. “The process is hampered because what we want is the account of the key witness in this case who is a political asylum seeker in Vancouver.”
Blanco’s office has insisted that the House of Representatives authorize this and other trips abroad that are crucial to completing investigations involving witnesses living in exile.
“We are judges or prosecutors who frequently travel abroad to take testimony and if we are denied this possibility, then we cannot demand results,” he added.