Crime & Justice

Colombian high court orders house arrest for ex-President Uribe

Bogota, Aug 4 (efe-epa).- Colombia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered house arrest for former President and Sen. Alvaro Uribe amid judicial proceedings against him for alleged procedural fraud in a court case and bribery of witnesses, the accused himself reported.

“The deprivation of my freedom causes me deep sadness for the sake of my wife, my family and for the Colombians who still believe that I’ve done something good for the fatherland,” wrote Uribe regarding the decision of the high court, which so far has made no announcement on the matter.

The case in which the man who governed Colombia from 2002 to 2010 was placed under house arrest began in 2012 when he sued – for the alleged manipulation of witnesses – leftist Alternative Democratic Pole (PDA) Sen. Ivan Cepeda, who at that time was preparing in Congress a complaint against Uribe for alleged links to paramilitaries.

That suit ended up going against Uribe, who on Tuesday became the first Colombian ex-president ever to be arrested.

The judicial proceedings launched by Uribe against Cepeda were flipped 180 degrees when Supreme Court Justice Jose Luis Barcelo, and the magistrate overseeing the case, not only shelved it but decided to open an investigation into the former president for allegedly manipulating witnesses.

The high court last October heard Uribe’s case and carried out other investigations on the basis of which it decided on Tuesday to place him under house arrest.

The Democratic Center party, founded by Uribe and which currently governs the country, on Monday expressed its “serious concern” over versions of the situation circulating regarding a possible ruling against its leader.

Uribe is responding to the high court’s proceedings because due to his senatorial privileges his case remains outside the Chamber of Representatives’ Committee on Accusations, which is the body tasked with pursuing legal matters against former presidents.

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