The Criminal Division of the Colombian Supreme Court opened preliminary investigations into alleged paramilitary ties of a Colombian senator and a representative, bringing the number of Congress members under investigation to at least 41.
Meanwhile, the lawyers of ex-senator Mario Uribe Escobar, cousin to president Álvaro Uribe, have asked that investigations into his alleged paramilitary ties be closed, reported Caracol Radio. They say all evidence for the research stage has been exhausted.
Senator Juan Carlos Martínez, of the Cauca Valley, will give testimony next Friday before the magistrates, who suspect him of links with the demobilized umbrella paramilitary group United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC for its Spanish initials), reported Canal Caracol.
It was not specified in news reports which paramilitary group Representative Pedro Pablo Trujillo, of Trujillo, is believed to be linked with.
There are now at least 41 members of Congress under investigation for paramilitary ties, at least 29 of whom are being detained, according to a mid-August report by Colombian think-tank INDEPAZ.
The Supreme Court has two weeks to rule whether they will grant the lawyers wish. However, it is possible for the prosecutor’s office to continue hearing testimonies and gathering documents if it issues an official decree saying it is necessary to advance the investigation, according to the Caracol Radio report.
The Supreme Court also accused former representative Caldas Dixon Ferney Tapasco, who resigned his seat recently, of aggravated conspiracy. Proceedings will take place in Tolima, according to the Canal Caracol report.