Colombian justice suspends arrest of Uribe’s lawyer in witness tampering case

The Colombian Justice has lifted the arrest warrant that weighed on Diego Cadena, lawyer of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who had been arrested early Friday morning at the El Dorado airport in Bogota, in the framework of the investigation for witness tampering in which the former tenant of Casa Nariño is being prosecuted.

Colombian immigration authorities arrested Cadena when he intended to travel to Mexico. Uribe’s lawyer had an arrest warrant issued by a Bogota court, after the term of house arrest imposed on him for this case expired in July.

However, Cadena, who confirmed to the newspaper ‘El Tiempo’ that he had no restrictions to be able to leave the country, while his lawyer, Ivan Cancino, recalled that he already traveled to the United States and Panama, so “it is possible that they forgot to lower the arrest warrant”.

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Uribe’s lawyer was prosecuted for an alleged crime of bribery and procedural fraud in order to implicate senator Iván Cepeda within a case of witness tampering, for which Uribe was finally charged. Cadena has always defended that such payments were humanitarian aid and that the former president never knew about them.

The process against Uribe dates back to 2012 when the former president initiated a legal process against Iván Cepeda, senator of the Polo Democrático, accusing him of leading an alleged witness tampering to accuse him of links with ultra-right-wing paramilitary squads.

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However, the process took an unexpected turn when the Supreme Court not only filed the case for lack of evidence, but opened an investigation against Uribe for that same crime and for another of procedural fraud, considering that the testimonies gathered by Cepeda were not the product of manipulation or payments.

Since then, two investigations were opened against Uribe, one for allegedly pressuring former paramilitaries to testify against Cepeda and another for bribing Juan Guillermo Monsalve to retract his claims linking the former president to the creation of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) in Antioquia.

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