The judge’s decision was final but former President Uribe still has options not to sit on the defendant’s bench, but the fact that the investigation has not been concluded sets a precedent and it will then be the Prosecutor’s Office that must accuse him and bring him to trial.
A judge in Bogotá defined this Wednesday, April 27, after a hearing of more than 9 hours, that the criminal investigation against former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez continues, that there is evidence and grounds for him to go to trial, for the case of alleged manipulation ( purchase) of witnesses in the midst of a counterclaim for alleged relationship with paramilitarism.
Former President Ernesto Samper and the 8000 process was partly judicial but more of a political trial, and in Congress.
The same former senator and leader of the Democratic Center had said that he had 14 investigations but that none was progressing, either because “there is no evidence” or because he is “innocent.”
However, this trial that he will face is a historic episode for the country. Never had a former president been investigated until he was brought to this instance.
Judge Carmen Helena Ortiz, to preclude the investigation marks a precedent.
There is “a reasonable doubt,” estimated the gown.
“There is direct evidence that indicates that attorney Diego Cadena, acting on behalf of Álvaro Uribe Vélez, offered money to Carlos Enrique Vélez, in order to lie about an alleged meeting between alias Víctor and Senator Cepeda and the alleged benefits that he received. did to testify against the Uribe Vélez brothers,” he read in his final decision.
In the end, the Prosecutor’s Office that asked not to continue the investigation will have to accuse the former senator and bring him to trial.
The trial is not going to start immediately even though Senator Iván Cepeda has requested it, this is because there are still paperwork to be completed.
The judge questioned the Prosecutor’s Office “because it refrained from following several lines of investigation”, therefore the investigating body could have the option to delve into the points mentioned by the judge.
Even, could quote another written estoppel, “with other grounds or adding new elements of judgment.”
If they decide to accuse and continue the judicial process, it would be before a different court than Judge Ortiz.
The other issue is that the prosecutor Gabriel Jaimes, would be “challenged considering that he does not give guarantees in the process and the victims consider that the process should go to another investigator,” according to EL TIEMPO.
The Prosecutor’s Office, which had requested the estoppel in March 2021, presented evidence this Wednesday so that the investigation for the crimes of bribery of a witness in criminal proceedings and procedural fraud would not continue.
This is a case that comes from the year 2012.
Former President Uribe sued Senator Iván Cepeda, telling him to go look for witnesses to accuse him of being a paramilitary, but later, the senator countersued and said that Uribe manipulated witnesses to testify against him.
That’s how the fight went.
This Wednesday’s decision was given by the new lawsuit that began in 2018 the Supreme Court of Justice when it opened an investigation against former senator Uribe, to determine if he had tried to manipulate witnesses against Cepeda.
That case went from the Court to the Prosecutor’s Office when Uribe Vélez resigned his seat in the Senate, in August 2020.
At that time, he managed to spend several weeks in jail at home, when the Court ordered an insurance measure against him for the investigation that was being carried out for allegedly trying to modify the testimony of former paramilitary Juan Guillermo Monsalve.
This was the reading of the decision on April 27, 2022:
The shadow of paramilitarism
The former senator, former mayor and former governor of Antioquia was linked to an investigation related to the birth of the Metro Block of Self-Defense Forces in Antioquia.
By then, Monsalve was the son of the mayordomo of the Guacharacas hacienda, of which the Uribe Vélez were owners, reported the W Radius.
A debate, which set a precedent
On September 17, 2014 at the Congress of the republic, when a political control debate ended in a heated 10-hour debate.
It was Uribe to whom they discussed political control, and there, the senator of the democratic pole, Ivan Cepedapointed out to his colleague alleged links with paramilitarism.
Cepeda mentioned the version of two ex-paramilitaries from Antioquia, J.uan Guillermo Monsalve and Pablo Hernán Sierra, who said that supposedly the Metro Block of the Self-Defense Forces had been born in the Guacharacas farm, of the Uribe Vélez.
The most critical point of that debate was when the senator mentioned that the former paramilitaries said that everything had been “with the permission of the former president.”
Uribe announced that he would denounce Cepeda.
That same day he left Congress and went straight to the Palace of Justice, filed the complaint.
The telephone interceptions gave a twist to the case, and the former president went from complainant to denounced and investigated.
Authorities found people close to Uribe would have pressured and tried to bribe the witnesses to change the version they had given to Cepeda.
And so the case has been going on for almost more than six years, in 2019, due to the double instance law, new rooms were created in the Supreme Court of Justice, the Court had to define the legal situation of the former president.
A year later, in 2020, a report of more than 1,000 pages determined that there would be enough evidence for the investigation against Uribe to continue.
By that date, there were already more witnesses against the former governor of Antioquia.