Colombian state will not have to indemnify Pablo Ardila

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The Council of State revoked the ruling of the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca which, in 2016, ordered the payment of a million-dollar reparation to the former governor of Cundinamarca for a process of illicit enrichment and extortion

Colombian state will not have to compensate Pablo Ardila

In the decision of the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca, the Judicial Branch and the Attorney General's Office had been ordered to pay 43 million pesos to the former governor. Photo: Colprensa.

In the last few hours it became known that the Council of State, in a second instance ruling, revoked the million-dollar compensation that the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca had ordered to pay the Judicial Branch and the Prosecutor's Office General of the Nation for the capture of the ex-governor of Cundinamarca, Pablo Ardila Sierra on December 26, 2007.

The arrest warrant had been issued by the Prosecutor's Office in the framework of an investigation for alleged illicit enrichment, as well as to respond to allegations of having engaged in acts of extortion to obtain rights to the land and mining activities that were carried out in the islands of the Sun and of Love in the municipality of Ricaurte (Cundinamarca).

At the time, Ardila was accused of the crime of extortion, in a homogeneous and successive material competition, but he was acquitted by a Specialized Circuit Court of Cundinamarca on November 11, 2011, a decision that was confirmed five months later by the Superior Court of Cundinamarca .

, of freedom.

In the first instance, the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca sentenced the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation and the Judicial Branch to pay the plaintiff and his family members 300 current minimum monthly wages for moral damages, and more than 43 million pesos for material damages. generated with the unjust detention of which, in his opinion, the former leader was a victim, since, according to the decision of the corporation, having acquitted him, due to lack of evidence, accredited the State's responsibility in the production of the damage.

As expected, both the Judicial Branch and the Attorney General's Office filed an appeal with the intention that the Council of State close the lawsuit. In the appeal, the prosecuting body argued that “the seizure measure was based on indications of serious responsibility of the accused”, while the Judicial Branch warned that “the delay in the ruling was due to the circumstances of congestion and conflict in that the judiciary must face in Colombia”.

It is worth mentioning, then, that Ardila, at the time, also appealed the ruling with the intention of increasing the amount of the repair.

In making the decision to revoke the conviction, the Council of State explained that the defendant entities did not incur an action or omission that made them responsible for the duty to repair the damage alleged by the former governor. Likewise, in the sentence, the high court maintains that the measure of deprivation of liberty was adjusted to the criminal legislation of the time, which required the existence of at least two serious indications of responsibility on the part of the defendant, to utter that type decisions.

The Council of State also took into account the testimonies of various quarry workers, who accused the ex-governor of pressuring them to sell their mining exploitation rights, and the alleged co-participation of the defendant in acts of intimidation carried out by his escorts and heavy machinery that had destroyed crops in the Isla del Amor, for which reason it was considered that the deprivation of liberty was not unjust, rather, it had a justification protected by law.

Finally, the high court determined that no unlawful damage was caused as a result of the capture or the time that the criminal justice system used to issue a verdict on the case, therefore it resolved to “REVOKE the judgment of January 20, 2016 handed down by the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca, which partially agreed to the claims of the lawsuit, to instead DENY the claims of the lawsuit, for the reasons set forth in the motivational part of this provision. do”.

The sentence can be read in its entirety below: