US judge again denies Arias bail
In a hearing held Thursday in a US Court, Judge James Lawrence King again denied the application for bail of former Minister of Agriculture Andrés Felipe Arias, who is in prison in that country.
Hearing held at the Court of Miami
At the hearing held at the Court of Miami, in which the former president and senator intervened, the judge upheld his decision on December 19, where the defense of former Minister Arias was denied.
Hours before the hearing, the wife of the former minister said that in addition to requesting bail, what is sought is to guarantee the right to a second instance.
“What we seek is an alternative that allows preserving the institutionality of the Colombian justice and, at the same time, protect the right to a second instance. This is also consistent with the legislative act that incorporated into the Constitution of Colombia the right of the aforados to appeal a criminal judgment in the second instance, “said Catalina Medrano, wife of the former official.
Medrano said that his family suffers the consequences of an injustice that can and should be remedied. So he asked the three rooms of the Supreme Court of Justice to respond to the pronouncement of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations.
The wife of the former Minister of Agriculture said that the possibility should be allowed for Arias to have a second-instance process, just as the legislative act that created that figure for the aforementioned officials enshrined it.
“Human rights are timeless and this legislative act never limited in time the right of the appraised to a second instance and, therefore, never excluded the possibility of being activated retractively. In fact, this was the spirit of the legislator as it was stated in a letter addressed to the Supreme Court of Justice signed by several congressmen from diverse political collectivities in which they request that my husband be granted the possibility of appealing his conviction before a second instance, “Medrano said.
Finally, Arias’ spouse indicated that the principle of favorability allows the retroactive application of the right “as urged by the recent decision of the United Nations Human Rights Committee in favor of my husband. This is the right thing and the right thing is the right thing to do “.
In that sense, the former minister will remain in prison in the United States while his extradition to Colombia is defined, to fulfill his 17-year sentence handed down by the Supreme Court of Justice for the events that marked Agro Secured Income that also earned him a disciplinary sentence to 16 years issued by the then attorney Alejandro Ordóñez, appointed by the government of Iván Duque as ambassador to the OAS