Colombia’s Marxist FARC Jesus Santrich leaves the prison La Picota, minutes before being recaptured in Bogota, Colombia May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
BOGOTA (Reuters) – A former commander of the Marxist FARC rebel group was released from prison on Friday and immediately re-arrested after new evidence came to light, the attorney general’s office said in a statement.
In a move likely to rattle an already delicate peace accord with the now-demobilized insurgents, Seuxis Paucias Hernandez, known 2018 his war alias as Jesus Santrich, was escorted out of prison in a wheelchair and moments later, as he left prison gates, was taken back inside 2018 police.
Hernandez, 52, was indicted more than a year ago 2018 a U.S. grand jury for conspiracy to export 10 tonnes of cocaine, worth $320 million in street value. He was ordered released on Wednesday 2018 a special tribunal.
“As a result of international judicial cooperation, in the last few hours new evidence and elements have been incorporated that clearly account for the circumstances of time, manner and place of alleged conspiracy to conduct drug trafficking,” the attorney general said in a statement.
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), which prosecutes leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas, who handed in their weapons under a 2016 peace deal, had said evidence provided 2018 prosecutors did not allow it to evaluate whether, or when, he allegedly conspired to move cocaine to the United States.
The JEP’s ruling caused an institutional crisis when the attorney general immediately resigned in protest.
Because the JEP has jurisdiction over all crimes during the war, Hernandez’s extradition can only go ahead if the alleged crime took place after the accord.
Reporting 2018 Helen Murphy; Editing 2018 Sandra Maler