Colombian President Gustavo Petro's son and his ex-wife have been indicted for money laundering, the Prosecutor's Office announced Sunday following the couple's arrest on Saturday.
As a person and a father, it hurts me a lot to see so much self-destruction and that one of my children goes to jail; as President of the Republic, I assure the Prosecutor's Office all the guarantees on my part to proceed according to the law, President Petro said. May these events forge his character and may he reflect on his own mistakes, he added on social networks.
Nicolás Petro Burgos and Daysuris Vásquez were indicted by a Bogota court Sunday after a judge found that their detention at their Barranquilla residence had been performed in accordance with the law. They were eventually flown to the South American country's capital for further legal proceedings.
The magistrate also found that the searches and seizures for the purpose of confiscation of elements that would be useful for the investigation and that acquire the quality of probative material or physical evidence, were done in a legal manner, the Prosecutor's Office said in a statement. In a hearing that lasted for eight hours, the 74th Municipal Criminal Court reaffirmed that all constitutional and legal requirements were met.
The Prosecutor's Office plans to file charges against Nicolás Petro for money laundering and illicit enrichment, and against Vásquez for money laundering and violation of personal data, it was reported.
Petro Burgos, who is a provincial deputy, was arrested in Barranquilla as part of an investigation launched by the Prosecutor's Office in March last following an interview of his ex-wife by a magazine, in which she said that a drug trafficker had contributed a large sum of money to President Petro's electoral campaign and that she kept that money. According to Vásquez, drug trafficker Samuel Santander Lopesierra, alias the Marlboro man, gave Nicolás Petro ”more than 600 million pesos (about US$ 153,000) for his dad's campaign.
That never legally reached the campaign because he kept that money,” said the woman, who also mentioned that Nicolás Petro had received another 200 million pesos (about US$ 51,000) from controversial businessman Alfonso Turco Hilsaca, which also did not go to the campaign.