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Colombia

Vice president being investigated

October 20, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Colombia's acting chief prosecutor is reopening a preliminary investigation into Vice President Francisco Santos over meetings the politician held with far-right militia leaders as a journalist.

An inquiry was launched in 2007 after a jailed paramilitary boss said he met with Santos in the 1990s. It was shelved last year.

The prosecutor, Guillermo Mendoza, said certain evidence needed to be reviewed. He did not give specifics.

Santos, a former editor at El Tiempo newspaper, issued a statement saying he was neither a friend nor defender of paramilitaries -- or any other outlaws. He has never denied meeting with them.

President Alvaro Uribe also defended Santos, citing his deputy's work investigating rights abuses.

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