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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Santos' reaction to arrest warrant is excessive: Ecuador

Colombia Reports

Colombia news - Ponce Santos

The reaction of Colombia's former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos to the warrant for his arrest by an Ecuadorean judge is disproportionate, Ecuadorean Defense Minister Javier Ponce said Tuesday.

Santos had qualified the arrest warrant as "absurd" and said the arrest warrant was not so much for him, but for Colombia as a country.

Ponce considers this reaction "absolutely disproportionate" and told journalists that the arrest warrant only is for one person and part of the investigation to establish Santos' personal responsibility in the March 1, 2008 cross border attack on a FARC camp.

The Minister said the arrest warrant shouldn't be interpreted as an act of aggression against Colombia, but a judicial act against individual criminal suspects.

Government Minister Gustavo Jalkh did not rule out the arrest warrant will be turned into an extradition request or an international arrest warrant, but that this is upto the court.

An Ecuadorean judge Monday ordered the arrest of Santos as part of an ongoing investigation into his alleged personal criminal responsibility for the attack on a FARC camp that killed the guerrillas' number two, Raul Reyes, and 25 others. Ecuador's leftist government cut ties with Colombia's conservative government after that. Attempts to restore relations failed so far.

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