Uribe released a statement expressing his “sorrow for the unjust imprisonment” of the ex-director of the Financial Investigation Unit (UIAF), Mario Aranguren.
The president said Aranguren was a transparent and innocent man, who “has not robbed anyone but has carried out his duty to battle against the corruption from drug trafficking.”
“It’s a serious problem for the country when the honorable task of pursuing drug traffickers is called lying, abuse of authority, and conspiring to commit a crime,” he added.
Uribe also gave a radio interview where he said that he was “heartbroken” over the charges against Aranguren, defended him as innocent, and said the issue was possibly the most difficult situation he had had to live through in all his years in government.
Colombian Supreme Court President Jaime Arrubla, responding to Uribe’s previous charges that the arrest creates a “lack of confidence” in the country’s justice system, said that “It threatens judicial independence when other powers describe the work of the judges of the Supreme Court with comments that brand us as liars.”
Arrubla also said that the president’s comments only served the purpose of trying to frighten the judges away from doing their jobs.
Another Supreme Court judge, Julio Cesar Valencia, rejected Uribe’s allegation that the judges were “pressured” to arrest Aranguren, and said that the president’s comments create an atmosphere of doubt in the judicial branch’s decisions, and leads to putting judges’ lives at risk.
Aranguren, who is the director of the Colombian government’s Financial Information and Analysis Unit (UIAF), is due to be charged for his suspected involvement in the illegal wiretappings undertaken by the country’s security agency DAS.
Arrubla earlier Wednesay called on Uribe to substantiate his allegations thst an unnamed “higher body” had pressured a judge to order Aranguren’s arrest.