Judge orders immediate release of Álvaro Uribe from house arrest

The dizzying legal battle that has embattled the former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe on charges of witness tampering and procedural fraud, once again, returns to the Office of the Attorney General after a circuit judge assigned to the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the prisoner’s defense.

The conservative former President had been ordered to house arrest on August 4 by the Supreme Court as a preventive measure to isolate him from tampering with a criminal investigation into his alleged involvement with paramilitary organizations while governor of Antioquia. The decision expected Friday is also based on the recommendation from the Attorney General to issue the immediate release of Uribe on the grounds that after having resigned to seat in Congress, the private citizen must be guaranteed his constitutional rights to provide testimony within the accusatory system.

After more than two months detained at his ranch in the department of Cordoba, Uribe celebrated the news of his immediate release on Saturday with few words, saying on Twitter: “Thank God.” The right-wing Centro Democrático party of President Iván Duque and two-term President Uribe Vélez (2002-2010) released a statement claiming that the judge’s decision “opens a new road to prove Uribe’s innocence.”