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The National Court shelves the complaint filed against Gustavo Petro


The Criminal Chamber corrects the investigating judge who ordered the Police to search for the family of a journalist kidnapped in 1981 to sue the politician

Gustavo Petro, president-elect of Colombia, this Tuesday.NATHALIA ANGARITA (Bloomberg)

The Spanish National Court has ordered shelve the complaint filed against Gustavo Petro, president-elect of Colombia, who was accused of having participated in the kidnapping of a journalist in 1981. The Criminal Chamber has corrected the investigating judge Joaquín Gadea, that he admitted it for processing and, in the middle of the electoral campaign, ordered the Police to locate the family of the reporter, now deceased, to offer him to take action.

A decision that was opposed by the Prosecutor's Office.

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The Criminal Chamber, a higher instance than the instructor, has studied the appeal presented by the Public Prosecutor's Office and has agreed with it.

The court concludes that the necessary requirements to admit the complaint are not met, since Spanish legislation provides that universal justice can only be activated when there is a complaint from the victim, her family or the Prosecutor's Office.

"Regardless of whether it could be understood that the fact of the kidnapping was for terrorist purposes [which is not even said in the complaint] and the offended party was a Spaniard, the only thing to do is to reject the complaint for processing," the magistrates point out in their resolution, dated June 24.

The magistrates also question the order given to the Police.

"It is never possible that the court, attributing the exercise of the action that corresponds to the Public Prosecutor's Office or to the offended party, intends to inquire about the existence of heirs of the victim who want to file a complaint for some events of 1981", the Chamber emphasizes in its opinion. , signed by judges Alfonso Guevara, Carolina Rius and Juan Carlos Campo —the latter, former Minister of Justice (2020-2021)—.

"The exercise of jurisdiction by the court does not include the search for plaintiffs who support the criminal action that is essential to precisely have jurisdiction," emphasizes the resolution, advanced by

and to which EL PAÍS had access.

This case stems from the initiative of an individual, who denounced Petro for crimes against humanity and war crimes during his membership in the M-19 guerrilla, where the elected president played a secondary role.

This group signed a peace agreement in 1990, formed a party, its militants were pardoned, and played a key role in drafting the 1991 Constitution, which laid the foundations for modern Colombia.

According to the complaint, among many other accusations, Petro would have participated in the kidnapping in 1981 of Fernando González Pacheco, a well-known Colombian journalist born in Spain and who died in 2014. An "overwhelming story", according to Judge Gadea, who in principle presents an "apparent lack of points of connection with the Spanish jurisdiction".

Although, however, to partially admit the case, the same instructor argued that the retention of the reporter could have "at this time, an apparent link with the Spanish jurisdiction": "[González Pacheco], apparently, would hold the nationality Spanish: open sources attribute Spain as the place of birth, so it is logical to think that he would hold Spanish nationality of origin”.


Gadea made his decision on May 19.

But it was known on the 30th of that same month, one day after Petro won the first round of the Colombian presidential elections and when he started the race for the second round.

Three weeks later, on June 19, the candidate finally defeated the populist Rodolfo Hernández and brought the left to power for the first time in the history of the South American country.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-06-29

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