Former Colombian President Uribe Charged with Witness Tampering

Sat May 25 2024
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BOGOTA: Colombian prosecutors formally charged former President Alvaro Uribe with bribery and fraud, marking the country’s inaugural criminal trial against a former head of state.
Uribe is accused of allegedly incentivizing witnesses of criminal activities with cash or other advantages to sway their testimonies in a case linking him to paramilitary groups, as per documents presented by prosecutor Gilberto Villarreal.
The charges of bribery and fraud stem from an inquiry into Uribe’s purported connections to right-wing politicians.
Despite vehemently asserting his innocence, Uribe, aged 71, who ruled from 2002 to 2010 and remains a prominent figure in Colombia’s right-wing circles, has attempted to have the case dismissed.
During the virtual hearing on Friday, Uribe stated, “I never actively sought out witnesses. My aim was to protect my reputation.” However, Judge Sandra Heredia denied his plea to terminate the proceedings.
Uribe faces a potential prison sentence of up to 12 years, expressing personal dismay at being the first former president compelled to mount a legal defense in court.

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