Latin America & Caribbean

Colombia court reinstates ex-minister's conviction

Alberto Santofimio (centre) is taken into custody in 1995
Image caption Santofimio (centre) was arrested for taking drug money in 1995

Colombia's Supreme Court has reinstated the conviction in a murder case against a former justice minister.

Alberto Santofimio will serve 24 years in jail for his role in the killing of rival politician and presidential candidate, Luis Carlos Galan in 1989.

Mr Santofimio received the same sentence in 2007 but was released on appeal after spending a year in prison.

Relatives of the murdered politician appealed against the decision and the Supreme Court ruled in their favour.

Santofimio was a close associate of the late drug baron Pablo Escobar.

One of Escobar's henchmen who appeared as a witness said Mr Santofimio met the drug baron several times and often urged him to kill Mr Galan.

He said that if Mr Galan ever became president he would intensify the fight against drug trafficking and would extradite Escobar to the United States.

Mr Galan was killed during a campaign rally near the capital, Bogota, in 1989. He was the favourite to win the 1990 presidential election.

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