The criminal investigation of Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe should go from its preliminary stage to a formal investigation, the chairman of the congressional investigation committee said Friday.
The former head of state has been accused of having ordered the illegal wiretapping of political opponents and Supreme Court magistrates, something he has categorically denied.
The investigation began two years ago and has so far heard Uribe and victims of the illegal wiretapping as it was stalled by the resigning of several members of the committee.
According to Representative Yahir Acuña, leader of the now-two-man investigation team, the time has come to “open a formal investigation against ex-President Alvaro Uribe for conspiracy, abuse of power and the illegal use of communication equipment.”
If and when the second member of the investigation duo, Representative Carlos Edgar Osorio, agrees to formally investigate Uribe, the former president can be interrogated and evidence corroborating the accusations will be tested.
According to Acuña, he asked Osorio in May to proceed to a formal investigation.
The assistant investigator told press that certain pieces of evidence must be allowed to be used in the investigation before he will agree with Acuña to open a formal investigation.
If both investigators can’t agree on whether to drop the charges or proceed to a formal investigation, the House of Representatives will have to vote on the matter.
According to Colombian law, a (former) president can only be investigated for alleged crimes committed during his presidency by Congress.
Uribe is accused of having ordered the illegal wiretapping of human rights activists, journalists, Supreme Court magistrates and politicians. The former president’s former chief of staff is in jail awaiting trial while his former spy chief fled the country before charges were filed.