Friday, October 29, 2010

Legal problems in the Piedad Cordoba case

A few weeks ago I wrote about Piedad Cordoba, the Colombian senator who is being ousted from office by the Inspector General. I am linking here to a follow-up article, pointing out the technical grounds on which the evidence used to charge Cordoba, namely a computer obtained during a hot-pursuit raid into Ecuador, is invalid. First off, the Inspector General's authority only extends to Colombian territory, except in cases where agreements with other countries allow him to operate there. Hence he is not authorized to use evidence obtained abroad in a military raid. Furthermore, the computer was obtained during a military operation in foreign territory, with no judicial orders to collect it as evidence. Colombian law demands an intact chain of custody, whereby evidence is obtained only through judicial order and protected by authorities so it can't be tampered with. Thus the chain of custody is not at all reliable, so the computer has no validity as evidence in Colombia.

Anyway, I thought this was a valuable legal insight into the Piedad Cordoba case

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