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Fri May 22, 2020, 03:36 PM

Colombia grants convicted politicians right to appeal Supreme Court sentences

Andres Felipe Arias.

by Adriaan Alsema May 22, 2020

Colombiaís Constitutional Court allowed politicians convicted by the Supreme Court without appeal after 2013 to retroactively claim this right.

The sentence followed a writ by former Agriculture Minister Andres Felipe Arias, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 2014 over the misappropriation of $25 million in agricultural subsidies.

While granting Arias his right to appeal, the court stressed that the sentence remained valid and the former minister must appeal his sentence while imprisoned.

Until a reform in 2018, privileged crime suspects like ministers, lawmakers and governors were tried and sentenced by the Supreme Court without the right to appeal.

Arias initially fled to the United States to evade imprisonment, but was sent back to face justice after a US judge rejected the former ministerís claim he was the victim of political persecution.


Arias, seeking consolation from his dramatic wife.

Arias and the missus chewed up nearly all the scenery any time the cameras were near
when he was found guilty.

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