Colombia’s chief prosecutor said Friday that staff of the country’s war crimes tribunal is trying to undermine the transitional justice court that is part of an ongoing peace process.
Prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez said that “the prosecution has evidence that some officials … would be cooking up falsehoods and procedural fraud so that the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) won’t act as it should, in compliance with the constitution and the law.”
According to the chief prosecutor, the alleged conspiracy could frustrate the exclusion from the transitional justice system of FARC guerrillas who have gone missing over the past few weeks.
The court is also investigating powerful politicians and members of the military, who are accused of crimes against humanity.
Martinez said JEP employees have surrendered evidence of alleged corruption to his office, but failed to present any of this alleged evidence to support his claim.
JEP president Patricia Linares told W Radio that Martinez had warned her about his suspicions and “left it clear that this is not about any member of the magistrate.”
Linares said that she and her office are cooperating fully with Martinez’ office “to clarify as soon as possible what has happened and that this is made known to the public, which should be aware of our commitment and dedication to fulfilling our tasks for the benefit of victims and the consolidation of peace.”
The chief prosecutor has been a long-time critic of the transitional justice system and has been criticized himself for his failure to investigate crimes committed by the military.
Martinez was reprimanded by the International Criminal Court last year for failing to compile case files on 29 top military commanders accused of involvement in the mass killing of civilians.
The JEP is expected to investigate and try the worst crimes committed during Colombia’s armed conflict that began in 1964 and killed at least 260,000 Colombians.