U.S. vice president calls for Colombia's Uribe to be released from house arrest
BOGOTA (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Friday called for former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, who is under investigation for alleged witness tampering, to be released from house arrest. The Supreme Court placed Uribe, perhaps the South American country's most divisive politician, under detention in a unanimous decision last week that cited potential for obstruction of justice.
BOGOTA (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Friday called for former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, who is under investigation for alleged witness tampering, to be released from house arrest.
The Supreme Court placed Uribe, perhaps the South American country's most divisive politician, under detention in a unanimous decision last week that cited potential for obstruction of justice. He says he is innocent.
Pence said on Twitter he had spoken to current Colombian President Ivan Duque, an Uribe protege, on Friday.
"We respect Colombia's institutions and independence," Pence said. "But, as Former President Alvaro Uribe is under house arrest, we join all freedom loving voices around the world in calling on Colombian officials to let this Hero, who is a recipient of the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, defend himself as a free man."
Uribe, who now serves as a senator, is being investigated over allegations that his surrogates tried to convince jailed former paramilitaries to lie about their interactions with a left-wing senator.
Duque and other Uribe allies have said his house arrest is unfair, comparing it to former rebel leaders who have been allowed to remain free while their war crimes proceedings move ahead. The guerrillas received special terms under a peace deal reviled by Uribe.
Duque has vociferously defended his mentor, while opponents hailed the Supreme Court's decision as a long-awaited victory for judicial independence.
Uribe's detention is the first time ever a Colombian court has detained a former president.
U.S. security and development officials, including National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, are due to meet Duque when they visit Colombia on Monday.
(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.
By Marcelo Rochabrun SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic. This week, news broke that Brazil's defense ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote. Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied