National Court of Spain admits complaint against Gustavo Petro for kidnapping

National Court of Spain admits complaint against Gustavo Petro for kidnapping

The Spanish court assured that the crimes that would be “the object of this investigation would only be prosecuted in Spain after filing a complaint by the aggrieved party or by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.”


A judge of the National Court of Spain admitted this Monday a complaint against the current candidate for the presidency of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, for the alleged kidnapping and murder of a Spanish journalist, when he was part of the disappeared M-19 guerrilla.

Judge Joaquín Gadea states that, given that the Prosecutor’s Office has opposed the admission of the complaint, “an initial investigative procedure must be agreed, in order to offer the heirs of the kidnapping victim, Fernando Gonzales Pacheco, the possibility of exercise criminal actions” as plaintiffs.

The accusation, dated May 19, was released just after Petro won the first round of the Colombian presidential elections on Sunday, after which he will dispute the ballot with millionaire Rodolfo Hernández on June 19.

In this sense, the magistrate determined that three requirements must be met for the investigation to begin: that it be verified with the Colombian authorities that Petro was not pardoned, that it be determined that Gonzales Pacheco was indeed Spanish, and that his relatives decide to sue in this case. .

The complaint was filed in March by François Roger Cavard, a lawyer who in 2018 tried unsuccessfully in Colombia to cancel the registration of Petro’s candidacy, alleging that he had not been amnestied for crimes committed when he belonged to the M-19, which laid down his arms in 1990.

At the National Court, Cavard accused Petro of crimes against humanity, as “one of the most responsible” for that urban guerrilla, who in his active years would have committed crimes such as “selective murders”, “attacks with explosives” , «massacres», «kidnappings» and «torture, cruel treatment and disappearances».

The Spanish prosecutor’s office had requested that the complaint be dismissed, considering that the Spanish courts did not have jurisdiction to investigate it.

*Also read: Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernández are the candidates who go to the second round in Colombia

The text presented at the Spanish Court reports that at least two decades (between the 70s and 80s) since the M-19 “systematically and indiscriminately used different methods of torture” to “destroy” the “enemy”among them political opponents, members of the public forces, journalists, businessmen, diplomatic personnel and senior officials of public powers.

Some facts for which, according to the complainant, Petro “has never been called to account before justice” and at present “he would be considered ‘demobilized’ by the group he was part of.”

With all these arguments, observes the judge, “the complainant tries to state that the facts denounced would be in a position to be prosecuted outside of Colombia, since they were not investigated there, being able to do so since the accused did not hold the status of amnestied or pardoned.”

However, the judge warns that the crimes that would be “the object of this investigation would only be prosecuted in Spain prior filing of a complaint by the aggrieved party or by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.”

With information from Eph/AFP


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