BOGOTA, Colombia, Aug. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday (8/9) afternoon, the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia announced two new charges against the former head of the National Infrastructure Agency ("ANI"), Luis F. Andrade. These are in addition to eight previous charges placed against him last year related to the Odebrecht corruption scandal.
Mr. Andrade, a U.S. citizen, led the creation of ANI in 2011 and served as its President for six years. Previously, he was a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Co., where he worked for 25 years. Since December, Mr. Andrade has been serving in preventive detention with a possible sentence of up to 30 years. In the meantime, the executives of Odebrecht and Grupo AVAL, who might have authorized or might have known about the illegal payments are not being charged or being charged with lesser offenses by the Prosecutor.
The Attorney General, the nation's highest legal officer, has close ties to Odebrecht and its local partner, Grupo AVAL. He worked as external counsel for the Odebrecht PPPs in Colombia and for two decades was external counsel to Grupo AVAL. At the time he issued a favorable legal opinion for the decision, which is the main object of charges against Andrade. Then, as President Santos's Chief of staff, he participated in the approval process for which Andrade is being charged. The Attorney General's close involvement in the charges involving Mr. Andrade's case make him uniquely unqualified to render legal judgement absent of bias. An independent investigator is needed to oversee all cases and charges involving Odebreht or Grupo AVAL.
With the new charges, Andrade continues to fall victim to an aggressive persecution by the Attorney General's office and its conflicted interests. For this, Mr. Andrade is calling for newly elected President Duque to appoint an independent investigator to oversee the cases involving Odebrecht and Grupo AVAL. It is only tenable to investigate thoroughly those who might have authorized or might have known about the illegal payments through an independent investigator given the evident conflicts of interest in the Attorney General's office.
The following statement can be attributed to Mr. Luis F. Andrade:
"I am concerned for my family and Colombia. The aggressive persecution by the Attorney General's office is founded in bias and contrary interests. I believe an independent and thorough investigation into the Odebrecht contracts in Colombia – including my case – is necessary. Transparency is required to strengthen Colombia's institutions if the United States and Colombia want to achieve the mutual interest of putting an end to drug-trafficking and organized crime. I look forward to continuing to correct the record as my reputation and innocence are besmirched – this is why I chose to launch a website with the facts of the case as they occurred."
More information regarding Mr. Andrade's case can be viewed here.