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The two legal systems that exist in Colombia are guarantors: Supreme Court

Richard Aguilar, former governor of Santander. Photo Oscar Perez

When resolving a request for the annulment of the criminal proceeding against former senator Richard Aguilar for alleged irregularities in hiring while he served as governor of Santander, the Supreme Court of Justice not only left the judicial file final, but also drew attention on the criticisms of the two legal systems that govern the country.

Currently, Law 600 of 2000, which is the inquisitorial system, in charge of judging graduates (congressmen and governors), and Law 906 of 2004, which is in charge of judging people who do not have any jurisdiction (doctors, teachers, engineers). On more than one occasion, the members of the legislature, once they learn of a criminal investigation against them, resign from the position so that their process remains in the hands of the Prosecutor’s Office.

Read here: Details of the investigation against Richard Aguilar

The arguments by which former senators such as Álvaro Uribe, Richard Aguilar, Edwin Ballesteros and Eduardo Pulgar, among others, have come to resign in Congress is because they consider that Law 906 is more guaranteeing than Law 600 that governs the Supreme Court of Justice. Although Aguilar and his defense did not openly express that deliberation, what did transpire publicly is the request for annulment of the proceedings in his process. The request was made during the impeachment hearing that was presented a little over a month ago.

In the first attempt to ground the investigation, the Trial Chamber of the high court did not agree with him. And this Monday, the Criminal Chamber closed the door on him again. The Chamber determined that former Senator Aguilar had not had his rights violated by not holding the hearing to impute charges, due to the fact that the investigation that the Special Chamber of Instruction carried out against him under Law 600, before he resigned from the Senate , if he loses the jurisdiction of a congressman and his case reaches the Prosecutor’s Office, it can be assimilated to an imputation of Law 906.

The high court stressed that, as the Constitutional Court recently pointed out in the case of former senator Álvaro Uribe, in which it equated the investigation with the indictment and gave him the status of accused, there is a functional equivalence between the proceedings that are carried out in The two legal systems that exist in the country, however, clarified that it does not mean that they are identical.

In the judgment of the high court, the marked differences between the investigation and the imputation in terms of their forms “does not blur the aforementioned equivalence if it is taken into account that the injured party complies -in substance- with the objective established for the act of communication of charges described in Law 906 of 2004, that is, informing the related party about the legally relevant facts, “said the order of the Criminal Chamber.

The high court also highlighted that, contrary to what was considered by Aguilar’s defense, in the investigation that was carried out against him, the evidence against him was communicated and for which he was formally linked in the criminal process, maintaining the process in an indictment.

The order of the Court highlighted that the actions that the Investigating Chamber carried out against Aguilar before he resigned from Congress are valid, since the change of procedure does not imply decreeing its nullity, because when within a judicial action the change of the procedural system, the principles of legality, access to the administration of justice, legal certainty and procedural economy require that the validity and effectiveness of the proceedings be preserved.

The Supreme Court stressed that it is not possible to affirm that there is a greater degree of guarantee in one or the other procedure because both have passed the constitutionality trials to which they have been subjected, and the people, within one or another investigation system and trial, have enjoyed the rights that as a principle or as a guarantee have been defined within each procedural system.

“Each one, within its own scope, allows the full exercise of the rights and the recognized guarantees – at the constitutional and legal level – for the procedural subjects or parties, which allows to conclude that the application of Law 600 of 2000 does not generate , per se, disadvantages in procedural guarantees with respect to Law 906 of 2004, or vice versa “, says the ruling.

To learn more about justice, security and human rights, visit the Judicial section of 247 News Bulletin.

Thus, with the clarification of the high court, former senator Aguilar continues to face justice for the alleged irregularities committed in mobility contracts and for the Alfonso López de Bucaramanga Stadium while he served as departmental president. What the Prosecutor’s Office said at the time is that “from its government office it issued orders or precise instructions for the directing of the award of the contracting for public works and the collection of money or ‘bribes’ in an amount of 10% of the value of each contract, which was required of the contractors so that they were favored ”.

What the accusing body said at the time is that Aguilar would have appropriated around $ 2.3 billion.

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Source: Elespectador

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