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“If I testified against Petro, they would release me”: assured lawyer convicted of bribery in the case of Carlos Mattos

Alexandre Vernot assured that officials from the public prosecutor’s office offered him to involve President Gustavo Petro in the case in exchange for his freedom. (Colpress – Diego Pineda)

Let us remember that in September, the Criminal Chamber of the Superior Court of Bogotá revoked the ruling that acquitted the lawyer Alexandre Vernotto intercede in favor of the employerCarlos Mattos bribing witnesses in the so-called ‘Hyundai case’. The total sentence he was given was 72 months (six years) in detention for being found guilty of the crime of bribery in criminal proceedings. Now the lawyer confirmed that prosecutors Daniel Hernandez and Alvaro Betancourt They offered him, in exchange for his freedom, to testify against the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro.

It should be remembered that in February of this year, a judge had decided to acquit Alexandre Vernot of allegedly having offered Luis David Durán Acuña, Carlos Mattos’ agent, a sum of two million dollars to stop negotiating a preliminary agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office since he was deprived of his liberty in a penitentiary center.

At that time, the judge had indicated that despite the evidence delivered by the Attorney General’s Office, the presumption of innocence of lawyer Vernot had not been destroyed. That was when the former defender of the businessman Mattos was acquitted of the process by which he had been captured in September 2018, but had been released in 2019 due to expiration of terms.

Well, the Criminal Chamber of the High Court revoked the ruling, noting that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Alexandre Vernot did try to intercede for the controversial businessman in the ‘Hyundai case’. According to what the authorities told the press, presumably the lawyer would be out of Bogotá, for which reason an Interpol red circular would be being issued against him.

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After a few months, the convicted lawyer revealed that in 2019, while he was in La Picota prison, prosecutors Daniel Hernández and Álvaro Betancourt offered to incriminate the president, Gustavo Petro in exchange for his freedom.

“I refused, however, they insisted, and they told another lawyer of mine. They were crazy because he will testify against him (Petro). They thought that because of the friendship of so many years, I had to know something. Twice my lawyers told me that these prosecutors sent me to say that, if I spoke against Petro, they would give me my freedom”, Alexandre Vernot pointed out, as quoted by the magazine Week.

Let us remember that within the process, even Mattos himself, filed a legal process against the prosecutors, assuring that no guarantees were offered to the process, after it became known that a new investigation would be carried out against the seven people who participated in the negotiation. of the frustrated pre-agreements.

Adding up, when the president was on a political campaign, he also denounced an alliance between Betancourt and Hernández, he was even the first to denounce what Vernot declared. At that time, the praetor assured that everything would be about a political persecution.

“According to Álex Vernot, while in prison, prosecutors asked him, in exchange for his freedom, to testify against me; as if I had committed some crime with Vernot, of whom I am only a friend, like parents in the French Lyceum. Here the criminal intent of a political persecution is shown. And they still wonder why we say that there is no democracy in Colombia. If you don’t think like the eternal and hereditary Colombian elite, they will persecute you, prosecute you, assassinate you or make you disappear. Multicolored democracy continues to be an objective to be achieved”, the current Colombian president pointed out at the time.

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