viernes, 1 de abril de 2011

Press Release on Possible Immunity for Uribe from Plaintiff’s Lawyer

Original posted at

O presidente da Colômbia, Álvaro Uribe, deixa ...Image via Wikipedia

The following is from Terry Collingsworth, the plaintiff’s lawyer in the Drummond case. Here is the original PDF. This is the only statement he will make regarding Uribe’s immunity.

Conrad & Scherer
Attorneys at Law
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida    •    Washington, DC    •    Quito, Ecuador

In response to a Statement of Interest (attached) filed March 31, 2011 by the U.S. Department of Justice on the issue of the scope of immunity that should be provided to former President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, Terry Collingsworth of Conrad & Scherer, LLP, lead counsel for the Plaintiffs in the Drummond case who seek to depose Uribe, issued the following statement:
It is premature to comment extensively on the issue at this time because there has not yet been a decision by the Court. The “Statement of Interest” issued by the U.S. government is merely that, and it remains for the Court to determine the precise contours of any immunity to be extended to Uribe, and the timing and scope of any deposition to be taken of Uribe.

With that said, the Plaintiffs in the Drummond case are encouraged by the Statement of Interest for two reasons. First, the U.S. government is clear that the law does not permit blanket immunity for Uribe as aformer head of state. At most Uribe may be extended immunity for any “official acts” taken as President of Colombia. The law is clear, and the U.S. government’s distinction recognizes, that to the extent that Mr. Uribe directed or encouraged or abetted violations of the law of nations, including war crimes and extrajudicial killings, these illegal acts can never be classified as “official acts. ” Since Plaintiffs’ allege that Uribe did collaborate extensively with the same AUC terrorists who executed their relatives, the details of his relationship with and assistance to the AUC is outside of any possible immunity.

Second, the U.S. government acknowledges that the Plaintiffs likely may be able to obtain some of the evidence they need from other sources in Colombia, and asks the Court to require Plaintiffs to first attempt do so before seeking the evidence from Uribe. Plaintiffs are hopeful that this means the U.S. government will use its considerable influence with the Colombian government to obtain the cooperation of Colombian officials in allowing Plaintiffs to gather that evidence in Colombia. The trial Court in the Drummond action has recently issued Letters Rogatory to the Colombian government seeking its cooperation in allowing the depositions of numerous witnesses in Colombia. Whether these depositions occur is largely within the discretion of the current Colombian government. The Drummond Plaintiffs sincerely hope that the new administration of President Santos provides the cooperation needed to get the facts in this important human rights case. Not only will this assist in getting to the truth, it will also show that Colombia has turned a major page in its bloody history and seeks to demonstrate to the world that it respects the rule of law and can be trusted to keep its international commitments to respect human rights.


Established 1974
Rex Conrad 1935-1999 • William Scherer
Conrad & Scherer, LLP  •   1156 15th St. NW, Suite 502, Washington, DC 20005
Phone 202.543.4001   •    Fax 1.866.803.1125

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