Colombia’s Supreme Court sentences former Uribe ministers to 6 years in prison for bribery

Two Cabinet ministers for then President Alvaro Uribe are being sentenced to six years in jail for bribing lawmakers to support the conservative leader’s 2006 re-election.

The conviction of former Interior Minister Sabas Pretelt and Social Protection Minister Diego Palacio was handed down Wednesday by Colombia’s Supreme Court.

A former congresswoman in 2008 accused the Uribe aides of offering her favors and political appointments in exchange for supporting the lifting of a constitutional ban on presidential re-election.

A lower house committee is investigating Uribe in the same case.

The two join a half dozen other top Uribe aides who have either been convicted or under investigation for corruption and ethical breaches. All claim their innocence and say they are victims of political persecution by Uribe’s successor, President Juan Manuel Santos.

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