Colombia's Supreme Court Orders Release of Ex-FARC Leader


Colombia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of a former commander of the Marxist FARC rebel group, the latest development in a legal saga concerning his detention and possible extradition to the United States. Seuxis Paucias Hernandez was one of 10 members of the FARC set to take up congressional seats guaranteed through 2026 by the peace deal, but was arrested before being sworn in. The Supreme Court issued a statement that because he is recognized as a lawmaker, his case must be heard by the Court.

The first body to order Hernandez’s release this month was the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), a tribunal created to prosecute FARC and military leaders for alleged war crimes. Because the JEP has jurisdiction over crimes committed during the conflict, Hernandez’s extradition can only go ahead if the alleged conspiracy took place after the deal. In its ruling the JEP said the evidence did not allow it to evaluate whether or when Hernandez committed the crime. The country’s attorney general resigned in protest over the JEP’s decision.

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