Crime & Justice

Colombian Prosecutor’s Office formally charges President’s son

Bogotá, Jan 11 (EFE).- The Colombian Prosecutor’s Office formally charged Nicolás Petro, the first-born son of President Gustavo Petro, with illicit enrichment and money laundering, and called him to trial.

Petro’s son had his first formal hearing on Thursday after being arrested in July, along with his ex-wife Daysuris Álvarez, for allegedly receiving money from dubious businessmen destined for his father’s electoral campaign.

Nicolas’ defense tried to request the annulment of the accusation of illicit enrichment, alleging that there was no “causal link between his status as a public official and his unjustified increase in assets.”

However, the judge rejected the annulment request and gave the Prosecutor’s Office the turn to formally present charges.

The Prosecutor’s Office will now have to prove in trial that the President’s son and former deputy of the Atlantic Assembly received money from people with ties to drug trafficking or corruption.

Petro Burgos has been under investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office since March 2023 due to complaints from his ex-wife (who has reached a plea deal with the prosecutor) that he received illicit money for his father’s 2022 presidential campaign.

After his arrest, Petro Burgos acknowledged, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, that he received money from former drug trafficker Samuel Santander Lopesierra, and Gabriel Hilsaca Acosta, son of the controversial businessman Alfonso “Turco” Hilsaca.

Part of that money supposedly went into his father’s presidential campaign in 2022, although Petro Burgos assured in an interview with Semana magazine that the president did not know.

“Turco” Hilsaca is a businessman and state contractor implicated in several judicial scandals and rumors of alleged political campaign financing throughout the country.

Samuel Santander Lopesierra is a former politician who turned to illegality to earn millions of dollars through cigarette smuggling, money laundering, and drug trafficking, for which he was extradited to the United States.

Petro has distanced himself from these accusations and has asked that this case be investigated diligently. He even went so far as to say that he hoped the arrest of his eldest son would lead him to “reflect on his own mistakes.” However, weeks later, the President visited him at his house in Barranquilla. EFE

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