Case n° CO/11 - Julio Acosta Bernal
Case n° CO/12 - Alonso Acosta Osio
Case n° CO/13 - Rafael Acosta
Case n° CO/14 - Pablo Emiro Agámez
Case n° CO/15 - F. Luis Almario Rojas
Case n° CO/16 - José G. Alvarado R.
Case n° CO/17 - Javier Alvarez M.
Case n° CO/18 - Jaime Arango Pedraza
Case n° CO/19 - Alvaro Araújo C.
Case n° CO/20 - Oscar Arias C.
Case n° CO/21 - José Aristides Andrade
Case n° CO/22 - Julio Bahamón V.
Case n° CO/23 - Orlando Beltrán C.
Case n° CO/24 - Eduardo M. Benítez
Case n° CO/25 - Jairo Berrío
Case n° CO/26 - Nubia Brand H.
Case n° CO/27 - Guillermo Brito G.
Case n° CO/28 - Tomás Caicedo H.
Case n° CO/29 - Helí Cala López
Case n° CO/30 - Lázaro Calderón G.
Case n° CO/31 - José A. Carvajal M.
Case n° CO/32 - Isabel Celis Yáñez
Case n° CO/33 - Juan José Chaux M.
Case n° CO/34 - Jairo Chavarriaga W.
Case n° CO/35 - Micael Cotes Mejía
Case n° CO/36 - Colin Crawford
Case n° CO/37 - Ciro Crispín L.
Case n° CO/38 - Alfredo Cuello Dávila
Case n° CO/39 - Martha Daniels G.
Case n° CO/40 - José Dávila Armenta
Case n° CO/41 - Justo Guzmán N.
Case n° CO/42 - Miguel De La Espriella
Case n° CO/43 - Tomás Devia Lozano
Case n° CO/44 - Luís Duque García
Case n° CO/45 - Ramón Elejalde A.
Case n° CO/46 - Eduardo Enriquez M.
Case n° CO/47 - Yolima Espinosa
Case n° CO/48 - Julio Gallardo A.
Case n° CO/49 - Jairo Ganen Buelvas
Case n° CO/50 - Albino García F.
Case n° CO/51 - Franklin García R.
Case n° CO/52 - Jesús García V.
Case n° CO/53 - Guillermo Gaviria Z.
Case n° CO/54 - Jorge Gómez Celis
Case n° CO/55 - Jorge Góngora A.
Case n° CO/56 - José Oscar González G.
Case n° CO/57 - Jaime González M.
Case n° CO/58 - Rafael Guzmán N.
Case n° CO/59 - Barlahán Henao H.
Case n° CO/60 - Fernando Hernández V.
Case n° CO/61 - Germán Huertas C.
Case n° CO/62 - Oscar Celio Jiménez
Case n° CO/63 - Octavio Z. Jaramillo Z.
Case n° CO/64 - Harold León B.
Case n° CO/65 - José Linas R.
Case n° CO/66 - Alfonso López Cossio
Case n° CO/67 - Jorge Lozano O.
Case n° CO/68 - Carlos Lucio Lopez
Case n° CO/69 - José R. Ricaurte A.
Case n° CO/70 - José Maya Burbano
Case n° CO/71 - José Maya Garcia
Case n° CO/72 - Juan J. Medina Barrios
Case n° CO/73 - M. Mejía Marulanda
Case n° CO/74 - Zulia Mena García
Case n° CO/75 - Jorge Mendieta P.
Case n° CO/76 - Eliécer Meneses L.
Case n° CO/77 - Ernesto Mesa Arango
Case n° CO/78 - Heyne Mogollón M.
Case n° CO/79 - Julio Mora Acosta
Case n° CO/80 - Norberto Morales B.
Case n° CO/81 - Viviane Morales H.
Case n° CO/82 - Roberto Moya Ángel
Case n° CO/83 - Jorge Olaya Lucena
Case n° CO/84 - Graciela Ortíz De M.
Case n° CO/85 - Alvaro N. Ordóñez V.
Case n° CO/86 - Rubén Orozco P.
Case n° CO/87 - Carlos Oviedo Alfaro
Case n° CO/88 - Tarquino Pacheco C.
Case n° CO/89 - Américo Peláez C.
Case n° CO/90 - Emma Peláez F.
Case n° CO/91 - Roberto Pérez Santos
Case n° CO/92 - Jorge Pérez Alvarado
Case n° CO/93 - Tito Pérez Pérez
Case n° CO/94 - Carlos Pineda G.
Case n° CO/95 - Antonio Pinillos A.
Case n° CO/96 - Evelio Ramírez M.
Case n° CO/97 - Lorenzo Rivera H.
Case n° CO/98 - Miguel Roa Vanegas
Case n° CO/99 - Carlina Rodríguez
Case n° CO/100 - Julio César Rodríguez
Case n° CO/101 - Salomón Saade A.
Case n° CO/102 - Franco Salazar B.
Case n° CO/103 - Dario Saravia Gómez
Case n° CO/104 - Luís Serrano Silva
Case n° CO/105 - Juan Silva Haad
Case n° CO/106 - Fernando Tello D.
Case n° CO/107 - Jaime Torres E.
Case n° CO/108 - Édgar Torres M.
Case n° CO/109 - Luís Valencia Díaz
Case n° CO/110 - Agustín Valencia
Case n° CO/111 - Mario Varón Olarte
Case n° CO/112 - Francisco Velásquez B.
Case n° CO/113 - William Velez Mesa
Case n° CO/114 - Augusto Vidal P.
Case n° CO/115 - Basilio Villamizar T.
Case n° CO/116 - Hernando Zambrano
Case n° CO/117 - Zoraida Zamorano L.
Case n° CO/118 - R. Zapata Múñoz
Case n° CO/119 - Octavio Zapata R.

Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 163rd session (Moscow, 12 September 1998)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Having before it the case of the above-mentioned parliamentarians and former parliamentarians of Colombia, which has been the subject of a study and report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians in accordance with the " Procedure for the examination and treatment by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of communications concerning violations of human rights of parliamentarians ",

Taking note of the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/163/12(a)-R.1), which contains a detailed outline of the case,

Considering that the 109 persons concerned were all members of the former House of Representatives sitting from 1994 to 1998, of whom 47 were re-elected in 1998,

Considering that in February 1996 the House of Representatives was seized of a complaint of the Prosecutor General (Fiscal General de la Nación) against the then President of the Republic, Dr. Ernesto Samper Pizano; that in conformity with Article 178, paragraph 4, of the Constitution, the House, in particular its Committee on Investigation and Accusation, investigated the conduct of President Samper,

Considering that, on 12 June 1996, by a vote of 111 representatives for and 43 against, the House of Representatives decided in favour of a preclusion of the investigation against President Samper,

Considering that individuals lodged complaints in the Supreme Court of Justice against those who had voted for and those who had voted against the preclusion of the investigation; that two years after the filing of those complaints, on 26 June 1998, after the conclusion of the preliminary investigation and five days after the election of the new President, Dr. Andrés Pastrana Arango, the Supreme Court decided to exculpate the minority who had voted against the preclusion of the investigation and to pursue the investigation regarding those who had voted in favour of preclusion,

Considering that fifty representatives have already been called before the investigating judge and the others are due to appear before him in the weeks ahead; and that the source fears that they may at any time be deprived of their freedom and that, if sentenced, those re-elected in 1998 may forfeit their parliamentary mandates,

Considering that the source affirms that the judicial proceedings against the MPs concerned were instituted in breach of their parliamentary immunity, in particular non-accountability guaranteed in Article 185 of the Constitution stipulating that members of Congress enjoy immunity for their opinions expressed and votes cast in the exercise of their office; that their vote on the matter in question can consequently not be subject to any judicial review,

Considering that the Supreme Court based its decision to institute judicial proceedings on the following grounds:

(i) Parliamentary non-accountability as guaranteed in Article 185 does not comprise the opinions expressed and votes cast by MPs in their constitutional function as judges of high State officials;

(ii) Having regard to the proceedings in its Committee on Investigation and Accusation, the House of Representatives should have arrived at the conclusion not to preclude the investigation against President Samper since sufficient proof against him existed;

(iii) The House adopted a decision contrary to law and for that reason its majority was obliged to justify its opinion and vote in the matter.

Considering in this connection that the legal basis invoked for the prosecution of the MPs concerned is Articles 441 and 149 of the Code of Penal Procedure and Penal Code, which stipulate respectively that " the prosecutor shall issue a committal order when the occurrence of the fact is demonstrated and there exist a confession, testimony offering a high degree of credibility, serious indices, a document, expertise or any other evidence engaging the responsibility of the accused " and that " a public servant who issues a manifestly unlawful order or report shall be liable to imprisonment for three (3) to eight (8) years, a fine of fifty (50) to one hundred (100) times the current monthly minimum wage, and debarment from public rights and office for a period concurrent with that of the penalty imposed ",

Considering finally that some MPs concerned have lodged a petition with the Constitutional Court which, however, has no suspensive effect,

  1. Is extremely concerned at the judicial prosecution instituted against members of Parliament for a vote they have cast and opinions expressed in the exercise of their parliamentary mandate and functions; wishes to know what precise facts justified classing the offence as one of prevarication;
  2. Recalls that parliamentary non-accountability guarantees parliamentarians absolute protection from any form of prosecution for all acts carried out as part of their parliamentary function, such as words spoken and votes cast in Parliament;
  3. Emphasises that parliamentary non-accountability is essential to the functioning of parliamentary democracy as it permits MPs to fulfil the mandate entrusted to them by their electors without fear of any retaliatory measures on account of their opinions;
  4. Points out that all parliamentary democracies without exception guarantee members of Parliament non-accountability;
  5. Affirms that bringing judicial proceedings against MPs in respect of a vote cast and opinions expressed seriously undermines the institution of Parliament as such and parliamentary democracy itself;
  6. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the President of Congress and the Minister of Justice;
  7. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (April 1999).

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