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Ex-Colombia leader mounts defense in witness tampering probe

July 30, 2018
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Former Colombian President and Sen. Alvaro Uribe speaks during a press conference at his home in Rionegro, Colombia, Monday, July 30, 2018, a week after Colombia's Supreme Court ordered him to testify on allegations of witness tampering. Uribe gave a detailed explanation in refuting the accusations against him. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Powerful former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is mounting his defense against allegations of bribery and witness tampering.

In an hour-long press conference outside his residence near Medellin on Monday, Uribe said yet-to-be-released audio recordings will vindicate him.

The Supreme Court is investigating Uribe for allegedly pressuring witnesses in a protracted legal dispute with another Colombian senator, Ivan Cepeda.

Uribe accused Cepeda of offering money to witnesses who testified that the former leader had ties to a violent paramilitary group.

The court found no evidence to support Uribe’s accusation but did find grounds to investigate him for witness tampering instead.

Uribe’s lawyer is requesting that three Supreme Court judges be recused from the case. He questioned their impartiality and said there is evidence of irregularities like leaking information to journalists.

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