The US government is refusing to cooperate with Colombia’s Supreme Court that is investigating former President Alvaro Uribe on fraud and bribery charges, according to weekly Semana.
Supreme Court magistrate Cesar Augusto Reyes requested the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in August to surrender records of visits and calls made to extradited paramilitary warlords and drug traffickers.
DOJ siding with mafia lawyer?
Reyes is verifying whether Uribe’s fixer, Diego Cadena, visited or contacted the extradited convicts who apparently made false claims after Uribe filed allegedly fraudulent criminal charges against opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda.
Additionally, the DOJ failed to facilitate hearings with Uribe witnesses that would allow the court to check the veracity of claims made in letters and videos provide by Uribe’s defense attorneys.
The DOJ refused the request, according to Semana, demanding details about why the Colombian court had concerns about Cadena, a mafia lawyer with four criminal investigations against him.
The Court provided a response, which the DOJ rejected as inadequate, reported Semana.
That second refusal prompted Reyes to write a withering response to the Justice Department on September 27, calling its refusals “disrespectful” to the Colombian court’s “appropriate request.” According to Semana, that letter has not yet been sent.
DOJ refusal to cooperate second this year
The DOJ’s refusal to cooperate with Colombia’s justice system is the second this year.
Colombia’s war crimes tribunal rejected the extradition request after receiving no evidence a crime had been committed and ordered an investigation into the prosecution and DEA agents who apparently were carrying out rogue and illegal investigations.
When the Supreme Court took over the investigation into the US claim, the DOJ again failed to provide any evidence and refused the court to hear their alleged key witness, a DEA informant.
The DOJ is facing mounting allegations that it has become politicized after the election of controversial President Donald Trump in 2016.
This and Trump’s erratic foreign policy have weakened historical ties between the two governments who are at odds both with Congress and the judiciary.