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Colombia’s chief prosecutor evades corruption hearing and leaves Colombia
Colombia’s resigned chief prosecutor said Friday that he has left Colombia, a week before he was supposed to be interrogated by the Supreme Court over his alleged ties to corruption.
Martinez told Canal 1 that he took a “necessary rest” after a war crimes tribunal order to investigate him for “serious irregularities” triggered his furious resignation.
The chief prosecutor had become one of the United States’ most loyal allies in Colombia after the US Justice Department discovered multiple corruption scandals tied to Martinez.
Martinez’ announced his “irrevocable resignation” on Wednesday after the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) ordered the release of FARC leader “Jesus Santrich” on a so-far unsubstantiated US drug trafficking charge and ordered investigations into possible misconduct by the prosecution and the United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration.It is unclear whether Martinez will be present at the hearing as he told CM& Noticias he will be “away for the time necessary to get my things together.” Opposition Senator Maria Angela Robledo said on Twitter that Martinez’ resignation had everything to do with the pending corruption hearing and not his disagreement with the JEP’s decision to bin the FARC leader’s extradition request.
When the JEP additionally ordered an investigation, Martinez proverbially exploded and, using the Prosecutor General’s Office’s Twitter, accused the transitional justice court of a “coup” and called on Colombians to protest against the JEP.
Some two dozen people showed up at the protest called for by the man who had become the personification of corruption in the country and had virtually destroyed Colombians’ confidence in their country’s corruption-ridden justice system.
Anti-corruption advocates and opposition politicians celebrated his departure. It is unclear where Martinez is currently staying.
Written: Adriaan Alsema