The former president of the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) Jose Luis Barceló, who launched the politically motivated case against former President Álvaro Uribe that led to his arbitrary arrest without charge in August, has been called to testify before a Congressional body investigating his conduct in the case. The announcement by the Congressional Accusatory Commission revealed the probe into Barceló illegally wiretapping Uribe’s phone in 2018 after opening the case at the urging of Senator Iván Cepeda, the principal ally of the FARC in Colombia.
Barceló issued a falsified warrant to tap Uribe’s phone which the judge later claimed was a “mistake”, despite violating international standards of due process. More than 20,000 intercepts were recorded, none of which pointed to any criminal acts by Uribe. In violation of Article 29 of the Colombian Constitution, Barceló transferred the recordings to Uribe’s case file. The Commission announced yesterday that both investigators who intercepted Uribe’s cell phone gave sworn statements to Congress earlier this year.
International legal and human rights organizations have begun monitoring the Uribe case for its multiple violations of the former president’s human rights, as well as evidence of judicial irregularities and arbitrary arrest without charge, including the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Human Rights Institute for Peace and Freedom (HRI), which is part of the World Jurist Association. The Inter-Parliamentary Union formally requested the cooperation of the Supreme Court, which Barceló led, to monitor the Uribe case, but the request was summarily refused.