Senator and former presidential candidate Gustavo Petro today asked the Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia to investigate him through a video in which he appears receiving stacks of bills that he then keeps in a plastic bag.
"I fully trust in impartiality and judicial independence, so I come before the honorable magistrates with the confidence that their actions will strictly comply with the dictates of law and justice," Petro said in a letter from that high court.
The parliamentarian, mayor of Bogotá between 2012 and 2015, is at the center of the controversy since last week when Senator Paloma Valencia, of the ruling Democratic Center, showed the video in question during a debate in Congress with the Attorney General, Néstor Humberto Martínez, for the bribery scandal paid by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht to obtain contracts.
The senator affirmed that he made the "conscious" request before the Court that the administration of justice "constitutes a fundamental pillar" of the democratic social State of law.
Similarly, he asked the magistrates to "intervene" to protect the relatives and witnesses of those involved in the case, as he pointed out that the daughter of the person who gave her the money "received threats" that forced her to leave Colombia.
Petro arrived at the Supreme Court of Justice accompanied by left-wing congressmen Gustavo Bolivar, Maria Jose Pizarro, Aida Avella, David Racero and Angela Maria Robledo, former candidate for the Vice Presidency.
In recent days, the former mayor of Bogotá defended himself claiming that the money, 20 million pesos (about 6,300 dollars), was given to him by Colombian architect Simón Vélez fourteen years ago, something that the latter denied in a statement.
Petro also explained that he knew the video as mayor of Bogotá and that it was shown to him by engineer Juan Carlos Montes, from whose hands he receives the money.
The amount, said the senator, was used for an internal campaign of the Colombian left called Congress of the Unit, although he acknowledged that he does not remember if on previous occasions to 2005 he received money in hand for smaller campaigns.
For that reason the National Electoral Council (CNE) affirmed that it will analyze if it opens an investigation.