MONSALVE LIED: Under Oath, “Star Witness” Evidence Crumbles

How long can this travesty of justice against Uribe go on?

“Star Witness” Juan Guillermo Monsalve lied eight times in his testimony against Alvaro Uribe.

In a bombshell media report last night, Juan Guillermo Monsalve – the ‘star witness’ whose induced jailhouse testimony was the core of the accusations of bribery and witness tampering against former President Alvaro Uribe – contradicted eight separate elements of that testimony in a new hearing on August 24, twenty days after Uribe was arrested without charge.

The revelations raised more questions of the glaring judicial irregularities, violations of due process and unexplained payments, assets and associations connecting those who accused, investigated and arrested Uribe, and raised new calls for his release from detention.  The case has been entirely driven by Senator Iván Cepeda, the principal ally of the FARC in Colombia, who visited Monsalve 21 times in prison offering him cash and benefits before finally inducing him to make false accusations against Uribe.

Supreme Court Judge Cesar Reyes had refused to allow Uribe’s defense to cross-examine Monsalve before issuing an arrest warrant without charge against the former president of Colombia.  The August 24 hearing, therefore, was the first chance to challenge the “star witness” under oath – and Monsalve crumbled.

Monsalve was confronted with security video footage from the prison which contradicted basic aspects of his testimony to the Supreme Court where he’d alleged in exhaustive detail how he was pressured by attorneys he said came to the prison on Uribe’s behalf.  In some cases, the video evidence proved the attorneys hadn’t even met with Monsalve on some occasions he’d told the Supreme Court they had.  Confused and hesitant, Monsalve began changing his story and threw the case into further doubt.

The blow to Cepeda’s “star witness” testimony joins a list of indications that the case against Uribe is a legal sham, and that his August 4 arrest without charge was arbitrary and illegal:

The injustice of Uribe’s arrest and detention without charge is the subject of international monitoring, where the Human Rights Institute for Peace and Freedom last week declared it “has observed evidence of an arbitrary detention” of Uribe “which violates his human rights” and demanded he be guaranteed “his right to trial in freedom and in compliance with the rules of due process.” 

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