Second attempt to remove prosecutor Mario Burgos in Nicolás Petro case

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News Team

The request to remove prosecutor Mario Burgos from the Nicolás Petro case has been made for the second time by Laura Ojeda. She suggests that Burgos may be favoring Daysuris Vásquez, Petro’s ex-partner and accused in the case, due to alleged irregularities in the procedural times to file charges. The request has been presented to the office of the deputy prosecutor for security, Luisa Obando.

Nicolás Petro was summoned to testify in the Supreme Court of Justice for financing the Petro campaign. Ojeda’s lawyer, Miguel Díez, presented a 15-page recusal request, alleging that the prosecutor missed the deadline to proceed with an accusation or request for preclusion against Vásquez. Ojeda, now recognized as a victim in the case, maintains that Burgos’ actions could be interpreted as an act of bias, which would compromise the impartiality of the ongoing judicial process.

This is the second time that Ojeda has filed an appeal to remove prosecutor Burgos from the case. The discontent expressed in the documentation clarifies the underlying motives, questioning the prosecutor’s conduct in managing legal times and procedural steps. The exact nature of the alleged omissions by Burgos has not been specified, although it is understood that their focus is on the alleged inaction in the face of accusations directed towards Vásquez.

Daysuris Vásquez is involved in a parallel case where she is accused of having tried to expose an alleged infidelity by Nicolás Petro. The decision on the possible recusal of prosecutor Burgos will ultimately fall to prosecutor Luisa Obando. Prosecutor Burgos faces charges for the expiration of terms under article 175, related to the accusation or preclusion of cases in a judicial court.

Nicolás was formally charged with illicit enrichment and money laundering, after evidence suggesting misappropriation of 1,053 million pesos, also impacting individuals unrelated to his legislative function such as Samuel Santander Lopesierra and Gabriel “the Turk” Hilsaca. His legal situation became complicated on January 11 and 12, the deadlines in which he was formally accused.

At the same time, Laura Ojeda is in the process of negotiating an immunity agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, in exchange for cooperating with additional information. The hearing to consolidate this arrangement is expected to take place on Tuesday, January 30, a date rescheduled after her lawyer, Alait Freja, alleged that Ojeda did not have the 40 million pesos necessary for the restitution of the funds in question.

Ojeda’s defense presented another recusal, marking a critical point after 163 days had passed since the formulation of the imputation on August 2, 2023. According to the legal document, it is considered that there are objective causes of impediment, a fact that has reactivated attempts to remove the prosecutor from the investigation.

This is not the first maneuver to displace Burgos from the process; other actions are added, such as the complaints by Nicolás Petro about alleged violations of his rights, which culminated in the opening of a file against the prosecutor in the Judicial Disciplinary Commission related to the leak of an interrogation and the entry of irregular funds into the presidential campaign of his father, Gustavo Petro.

For the moment, Burgos’ permanence in the case seems safe, although we are waiting for a final statement from the Prosecutor’s Office or the proposal of new tactics to challenge him. The ongoing judicial process continues to develop with special attention to the legal strategies employed by both sides of the procedural spectrum.

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