They try to remove prosecutor Mario Burgos for the second time in the case of Nicolás Petro

For the second time they seek to remove prosecutor Mario Burgos from the Nicolás Petro case – credit screenshot/Prosecutor’s Office

Laura Ojeda once again requests the recusal of prosecutor Mario Burgos in the case against Nicolás Petro. The partner of the president’s eldest son suggests that Burgos could be favoring Daysuris Vásquez, Petro’s ex-partner and accused in the process, after alleged irregularities in the procedural times to file charges. This request reaches the office of the deputy prosecutor for security, Luisa Obando.

The 15-page recusal request, detailed and known by The Colombianwas presented by Ojeda’s lawyer, Miguel Díez, alleging that the prosecutor missed the deadline to proceed with an accusation or request for preclusion against Vásquez. Ojeda, now recognized as a victim in the case, maintains that Burgos’ actions could be interpreted as an act of bias, which would compromise the impartiality of the ongoing judicial process.

Ojeda’s insistence on removing prosecutor Burgos from the case marks the second time that an appeal of this nature has been filed. The underlying motives are clarified through the discontent expressed in the documentation, where the prosecutor’s conduct in managing legal times and procedural steps is questioned. The exact nature of the alleged omissions by Burgos has not been specified, although it is understood that his focus is on the alleged inaction regarding the accusations directed towards Vásquez.

The request was made by the current partner of Petro Burgos – credit @lauraojedae/Instagram

For her part, Daysuris Vásquez is involved in a parallel case where she is accused of having tried to expose Nicolás Petro’s alleged infidelity. The dynamics of the case and the interactions between the parties involved remain under strict review by the competent judicial authorities. The decision on the possible recusal of prosecutor Burgos will ultimately fall to prosecutor Luisa Obando.

Prosecutor Burgos faces charges for the expiration of terms under Article 175, related to the accusation or preclusion of cases in a judicial court. On the other hand, Nicolás was formally charged with illicit enrichment and money laundering, after evidence suggesting misappropriation of 1,053 million pesos, also impacting individuals outside his legislative function such as Samuel Santander Lopesierra and Gabriel “the Turk” Hilsaca.

Nicolás’ legal situation became complicated on January 11 and 12, the deadlines in which he was formally accused. At the same time, Laura Ojeda is in the process of negotiating an immunity agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, in exchange for cooperating with additional information. The hearing to consolidate this arrangement is expected to take place on Tuesday, January 30, a date rescheduled after his lawyer, Alait Freja, alleged that Ojeda did not have the 40 million pesos necessary for the restitution of the funds in question. It should be noted that days before the first judicial meeting scheduled for January 15, Ojeda’s defender presented a still unresolved request for recusal.

Ojeda’s defense presented another challenge, marking a critical point after 163 days had passed since the accusation was formulated on August 2, 2023. According to the legal document, it is considered that there are objective causes of impediment, a fact that has reactivated attempts to remove the prosecutor from the investigation. However, previously, a similar request was rejected by the Prosecutor’s Office on December 22, arguing an extension of terms to 240 days due to Vásquez’s pending negotiation with the justice system.

It should be noted that this is not the first maneuver to displace Burgos from the process; Other actions are added, such as the complaints by Nicolás Petro about alleged violations of his rights, which culminated in the opening of a file against the prosecutor in the Judicial Disciplinary Commission related to the leak of an interrogation and the entry of irregular funds into the presidential campaign of his father, Gustavo Petro.

The first process that was opened against prosecutor Burgos was related to the leak of Nicolas’s interrogation – credit screenshot/Prosecutor’s Office

For the moment, Burgos’ permanence in the case seems safe, although we are awaiting a final statement from the Prosecutor’s Office or the proposal of new tactics to challenge him. The facts presented here are part of the ongoing judicial process, which continues to develop with special attention to the legal strategies employed by both sides of the procedural spectrum.

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