The ex-President Alvaro Uribe is seeking to repeal the eight-year sentence of the former leader of paramilitary organization AUC, insisting that Salvatore Mancuso lied about the involvement of the military, business, politicians and Uribe himself.
A Bogota court sentenced Mancuso to eight years in prison on Friday after the former paramilitary leader admitted to a series of massacres, homicides and forced displacement operations.
Mancuso, who admitted to 402 crimes during the trial, including 300 counts of murder, was sentenced to eight years in prison, the maximum sentence agreed between the paramilitaries and the Uribe administration in 2005 when signing peace.
However, for Uribe, the former paramilitary chief “lied and committed crimes such as libel and slander” and should not be allowed legal benefits.
The former president illegally extradited Mancuso and other paramilitary leaders to the United States in 2008, also claiming they had breached the peace agreement with his administration.
The extradition spurred strong criticism by the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General’s Office and victim organizations who claimed Mancuso and his subordinates were in fact collaborating, but had become a liability for the government as their collaboration with justice exposed the extensive ties between the AUC and the Uribe administration.
Uribe plead that the Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez files an appeal before the court demanding the court recognizes Manuso’s alleged slander that — together with corroborating testimonies of other paramilitaries — sent dozens of Uribe’s political allies, and his cousin, to prison.
In particular, Mancuso’s claim that he met with Uribe personally and added testimonies by former AUC congressmen over meetings with Uribe worry the former head of state, forcing his attorney Jaime Granados to “request the Inspector General to submit an appeal against the verdict on Salvatore Mancuso, as he does not deserve the legal benefit,” Uribe’s party, the Democratic Center, said in a statement.
Uribe “declares under oath that he did not meet with Mr. Mancuso and never spoke to him, unless on issues that concern the government’s agenda,” said the press release.
Additionally, the statement said that “Mancuso has been sued for defamation in the past, lawsuits that have not been advanced.”