The lawyer for Alvaro Uribe claims the former President never actually had proof of his allegations that there were links between $2 million in drug money and President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s national media reported on Tuesday.
After refusing to testify regarding allegations to Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office three times, the former President and Senator-elect Uribe is now playing with words.
Less than two weeks ago, the founder of the Democratic Center (Centro Democratico – CD) party jumped on a media frenzy surrounding President Santos’ now former campaign manager Juan Jose (JJ) Rendon.
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The Venezuelan political strategist was forced to resign after El Espectador newspaper revealed that Rendon had received $12 million from drug traffickers after negotiating a deal with them to allegedly end parts of the drug trade.
Uribe then dove into the media firestorm saying that Santos had received $2 million of that money to cover up debts from his 2010 campaign.
The Senator-elect’s lawyer admitted on Monday that the former president had no proof of this claim.
“Uribe does not have any proof,” lawyer Jaime Lombona said to Colombian radio station W Radio.
In the former President’s initial interview with W Radio where he made his unbacked accusation, the career politician was also very clear.
Regarding the claim against Santos, Uribe said that he had “testimonies,” “witnesses,” and a “very serious source,” but Lombona clarified Monday that “the ex-President Uribe never used the word ‘proof.'”
“He doesn’t have proof because he was not the witness nor did he know the facts,” continued the lawyer.
This clarification however comes after Uribe was called to the Prosecutor General’s Office to hand over any evidence of his allegations or give names of said “witnesses,” and publicly denied to do either, three times, claiming that there was a “lack of guarantees for a fair investigation.”
The alleged connection between Santos and the drug money received by Rendon received wide-spread attention in the Colombian media just a week before the presidential elections, even without any proof or evidence.
Cesar Gaviria, former president of Colombia and replacement campaign manager for Santos, criticized the Democratic Center and Uribe for “allowing unjustified accusations to thrive.”
The first round of the presidential elections will be held this Sunday, May 25. President Santos is currently leading the majority of the polls, though CD candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga has significantly closed the gap between the two candidates and some polls predict his victory in a second-round runoff.