Latin America & Caribbean

Colombia's Uribe court threat to Venezuela leader Maduro

Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. File photo
Image caption Mr Uribe's lawyer wants Venezuela's Maduro investigated for libel if he enters Colombia

Former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe says he will take Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights.

Mr Maduro's accusation that Mr Uribe had plotted to assassinate him had put the Colombian's life at risk, his lawyer said.

Mr Uribe's lawyer said he also wanted a libel investigation in Colombia.

Mr Maduro also implied Mr Uribe could have been involved in the killing of a Venezuelan journalist.

The Venezuelan leader said on Friday he had evidence that right-wing Venezuelan politicians were involved in a plot masterminded by Mr Uribe.

'Immature accusations'

But Mr Uribe - a fierce critic of the late President Hugo Chavez - dismissed Mr Maduro's accusation as "immature".

On Sunday, Mr Uribe's lawyer issued a statement saying the former president's "life and bodily integrity" had been put at risk.

"In the next few hours I will appeal to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights to ask for precautionary measures in favour of the former President Alvaro Uribe every time Mr Maduro's actions put his life and bodily integrity at risk," wrote the lawyer, Jaime Granados Pena.

He said he would also ask Colombia's Attorney General's office for a special petition to investigate Mr Maduro for libel if he enters the country.

Image caption Nicolas Maduro won April's election by a narrow margin, official results show

The statement also said the accusations were the acts of "a desperate person who holds power illegitimately" and wanted to "divert the attention from the corruption and illegality sponsored by the dictatorship he runs."

For its part, the Venezuelan government also accused an American national, Timothy Tracy, of funding opposition protests to "destabilise the country with the goal of starting a civil war".

US President Barack Obama dismissed the accusations as "ridiculous", while Mr Maduro hit back calling him the "grand chief of devils".

Since taking over from the late President Hugo Chavez as acting president and even after winning disputed elections last month, Mr Maduro denounced a string of alleged conspiracies in Venezuela.

Mr Maduro won the 14 April poll by a narrow margin of 1.49%, according to the official results.

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles is challenging the result, alleging irregularities.

During his term in office, Alvaro Uribe clashed with Hugo Chavez on a number of issues.

Mr Uribe, a conservative, stepped down in 2010.

Ties between the two neighbouring countries have been steadily improving since then.

More on this story