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Colombia ex-president Uribe resigns from senate to fight probe

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Former Colombian president and current senator Alvaro Uribe of Democratic Center Party, speaks during the installation of the new Congress, for the legislative period 2018-2022, at the Capitol in Bogota on July 20, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Diana Sanchez

Colombia’s former president Alvaro Uribe said Tuesday he was resigning from the senate after he was formally placed under investigation for alleged bribery and fraud.

“I feel morally impeded from being a senator, I have sent my resignation letter so that my defense does not interfere with the senate’s work,” Uribe wrote on Twitter.

Uribe, a popular former president who served in office from 2002 until 2010, was only sworn into the senate Friday after having garnered the highest number of votes in March’s legislative elections.

Earlier this year, Uribe made a formal complaint to the Supreme Court against opposition politician Ivan Cepeda, accusing him of a plot to incriminate the ex-president in criminal involvement with right-wing paramilitary groups, and witness manipulation.

Those allegations date back to 2012.

Investigators not only rejected the complaint but started investigating Uribe for witness interference.

The Supreme Court’s decision shakes the ranks of the incoming ruling party just 13 days after Uribe protege Ivan Duque won the presidential election.

“We express our solidarity to former president Uribe and his family at this time and we are sure that his honor and innocence will prevail,” Duque told reporters.

Duque said he respected “the constitution and its institutions,” and asked that the presumption of innocence of his political mentor be guaranteed.

The Supreme Court released a statement saying it had “collected evidence” and was now opening an investigation against Uribe for “bribery and fraud.”


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