At a meeting with students of the Florida International University, Duque referred to Uribe’s possible incarceration for the first time since taking office last year.
Uribe will have to appear before the Supreme Court and could lose his liberty on October 8 after more than a month of witness hearings.
Duque was asked what he would do if his political patron is sent to jail or found guilty of manipulating witnesses who have testified that the leader of the far-right Democratic Center party former a death squad in the 1990s.
The president stressed that “it is up to me to face these judicial bodies and be extremely prudent,” adding that “as a Colombian” he considered his political patron “a great human being, a person who has always worked for our country with a lot of dedication and commitment.”
According to Duque, the politician who is also facing charges for his alleged involvement in massacres and the assassinations of human rights defenders “has dedicated his life to serve Colombia.”
Uribe expressed his “infinite gratitude” to his protege on Twitter.
The former president’s trial, which began on September 3, is entering its final and most critical phase.
The court initially called in witnesses who have defended Uribe’s claim that he is the victim of a criminal conspiracy, but on Friday began hearing witnesses who would confirm the criminal charges or are political rivals who have been the victim of conspiracies that sought to link them to illegal armed groups or destroy their political career.
While this court case is only about Uribe’s alleged fraud and bribery practices, the testimonies and evidence gathered by the court could be added to the investigations into his allegedly illegal role in the formation of death squads.