Colombian prosecutors accuse former President Álvaro Uribe of fraud and bribery

Judge Sandra Heredia rejected the former president's request to dismiss the case against him.

(AFP - Voz Media) Colombian prosecutors accused Álvaro Uribe, former president between 2002-2010, of fraud and witnesses tampering in what will be the first criminal trial against a former Colombian president.

Uribe is accused of "offering cash or other benefits to selected witnesses of criminal acts so that they would not tell the truth," in a case that links him to paramilitary groups, according to a document presented by Prosecutor Gilberto Villarreal.

In a virtual hearing that began last week, the former president insisted he is innocent and requested that the case be dismissed. 

"I never took the initiative to look for witnesses. I intended to defend my reputation," argued Uribe, who faces a sentence of 6-12 years.

Judge Sandra Heredia rejected this request and recognized a senator, the ex-wife of a paramilitary officer who linked the former governor to these armed groups, and two former prosecutors as possible victims.

Heredia also set a date for the first hearing in July. The rest of the agenda is scheduled for the first days of August, according to W Radio.