Unionists suing ex-government officials for defamatory statements are demanding that the former vice president and a former presidential adviser appear in court, newspaper El Espectador reported on Tuesday.
Neither former vice president and current RCN radio host Francisco Santos, nor former presidential adviser Jose Obdulio Gaviria, were at their scheduled court appearance Monday afternoon. The unions, Sintraunicol, Sintraemcali y Sintratelefonos, are suing the former government officials for statements in which the men classified the unions as “terrorists.” Both officials have been charged in the case.
The judge for the proceedings, Gloria Estela Rojas, questioned whether or not Santos and Gaviria were in contempt of court or did not appear for other reasons. Santos gave legal power to his attorney, and Gaviria sent a letter with a proxy. Rojas was unsatisfied by these substitutions, however, and ordered that the proceedings be postponed.
“In Colombia it is not acceptable, having been vice president or adviser at the presidential palace, to mock court decisions and to refrain from attending the hearings,” Rojas said.
The unions have asked for a public apology from both Santos and Gaviria for their comments, but neither man has complied.