Former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe has claimed on Wednesday that he will sue two former members of congress for accusing him of knowingly receiving support from the AUC paramilitary during his 2002 election campaign.
Uribe announced via his twitter account that his lawyers would make a “criminal complaint” against Eleonora Pineda and Miguel Alfonso de la Espriella for their accusations aimed at him during a court hearing in the capital Bogota on Tuesday.
Mis abogados formularán denuncia penal contra testigos presionados por extraditado Mancuso
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) September 26, 2012
Uribe claims the two jailed former members of congress, who have been convicted of ties with the paramilitary group AUC, were pressured into testifying against him by AUC’s then-second in command Salvatore Mancuso.
Colombian media on Tuesday reported that Espriella, who was part of the coalition government led by Uribe and later sentenced for having ties to AUC, gave details of the paramilitaries’ support for Uribe’s campaign in the northern Cordoba department.
According to the disgraced politician, Uribe never objected to meeting with the AUC-backed politicians, but “simply maintained a prudent silence.”
The then-candidate did refuse to meet directly with the Manucso at a rally organized by the AUC, the former congressman said.
Uribe’s reaction to these claims came swiftly as he looked to rebuke the accusations, indicating that De La Espriella along with Pineda may have been pressured into testifying against him by Mancuso.
Indeed Uribe contacted the U.S. ambassador for Colombia to “ask about the rumor that Salvatore Mancuso would be pushing the two former members of congress to testify against him,” reported newscast CM&.