Spanish version

Martinelli lawyers hope for bail

Temas:

Andrés Felipe Arias Andrés Felipe Arias
Andrés Felipe Arias Archivo

Following his arrest in the United States, the defense and relatives of former President Ricardo Martinelli have referred to the case of former Colombian Minister Andres Felipe Arias as evidence that US judges do grant bail in ongoing extradition proceedings.

Martinelli faces extradition proceedings in the South Florida District Court at the request of the Supreme Court, which is investigating him for unauthorized interception of communications by the National Security Council between 2012 and 2014. On Tuesday he will attend a hearing before Judge Edwin Torres, who must decide whether or not to grant him bail as requested by the defense. At least until that date, he will remain in the Federal Detention Center, where he can only be visited by his lawyers. 

Martinelli was arrested on Monday by US Marshals in response to a request for extradition from the Supreme Court that was sent on Sept. 28, 2016, through the Foreign Ministry.

Arias served as Minister of Agriculture between 2005 and 2009, during the presidency of Álvaro Uribe. He was sentenced to 17 years in jail by the Supreme Court of that country after discovering irregularities in the state program Agro Ingreso Seguro. 

In this case, the former Colombian minister was imprisoned between July 2011 and June 2013 in Bogotá. Subsequently, a judge released him. 

However, in July 2014, the Supreme Court of Colombia sentenced him to 17 years in prison for this same case. By that time, Arias had been living in the United States for several weeks. 

Two years later, on August 23, 2016, Arias was captured by the Florida authorities after Colombia requested extradition. On November 17, 2016, a judge granted bail for $100,000 and regained his freedom as his case progressed.

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