Colombian ex-president's defense team asks for case to be transferred
By Luis Jaime Acosta BOGOTA (Reuters) - The defense team for former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who is under investigation for alleged witness tampering, has asked for the handling of the case to pass from the Supreme Court to the attorney general's office. Uribe, who says he is innocent, resigned his Senate seat this week after being placed under house arrest at his country home earlier this month
By Luis Jaime Acosta
BOGOTA (Reuters) - The defense team for former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who is under investigation for alleged witness tampering, has asked for the handling of the case to pass from the Supreme Court to the attorney general's office.
Uribe, who says he is innocent, resigned his Senate seat this week after being placed under house arrest at his country home earlier this month.
The Supreme Court handles criminal proceedings involving lawmakers and high-ranking officials, but may face jurisdictional issues now Uribe is no longer a legislator.
Uribe's critics have alleged his Senate resignation is a ploy to place the case with a potentially less-rigorous legal body.
A court source and a member of Uribe's team both confirmed the request was presented by the defense team to the court on Wednesday afternoon. The court has five days to respond.
The Supreme Court cited the potential for obstruction of justice when it unanimously ordered the detention of Uribe, perhaps the South American country's most divisive politician. One of Uribe's sons has characterized the measure as a kidnapping.
It is the first time ever a Colombian court has detained a former president.
Uribe said in his Senate resignation that eight procedural guarantees had been violated and wiretaps which form part of the case were illegal.
Uribe's seat is expected to be taken up by whichever remaining candidate on his party's list from the 2018 elections got the highest number of votes.
The former president and several allies stand accused of engaging in witness tampering in an attempt to discredit allegations Uribe had ties to right-wing paramilitaries.
Kingmaker Uribe has shepherded two successors to power since the end of his second term in 2010, including current President Ivan Duque, who has repeatedly said he believes his mentor is innocent.
(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.