Colombia’s leading presidential candidate, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, has three preliminary criminal investigations pending against him, the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) said Monday, one day after the hard-line politician reached the second round of elections.
In an emailed response to weeks-old questions regarding a past investigation over Zuluaga’s alleged ties to a paramilitary group, the PGO told Colombia Reports that this investigation was archived in 2008 already.
However, Colombia’s highest prosecution office spontaneously told this website that the presidential candidate does have three other criminal investigations pending, all of which are in a preliminary phase.
According to the PG’s Office, Zuluaga is investigated for the following accusations:
- Granting government contracts for personal gain
- “Crimes against public administration”
In its response, the judicial authority did not explain the origin of the preliminary investigations.
The “crimes against public administration” charge could refer to Zuluaga’s recently revealed alleged involvement in the alleged spying as the candidate was caught on film being informed on strategic information by the alleged campaign spy.
Zuluaga and his political patron, former President Alvaro Uribe, have accused the Prosecutor General’s Office of being politically motivated after prosecutors arrested a member of the candidate’s campaign team for alleged spying on ongoing peace talks with rebel group FARC.
Zuluaga won the first round of the presidential elections with 29.5% of the votes cast by a historically low 40% of the voters. The hard-line candidate has a 4.5 percentage-point advantage over his rival, incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos.
The second round of the elections are set to be held on June 15.
- Email Prosecutor General’s Office spokesperson