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Carlos Castaño Gil convicted for murder of journalist Jaime Garzón

(FLIP/IFEX) - A Bogotá criminal court has sentenced paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño Gil to 38 years in prison for having masterminded the murder of journalist and humorist Jaime Garzón. In its ruling, the court acquitted Juan Pablo Ortiz Agudelo, alias "Bochas," and Edilberto Antonio Sierra Ayala, alias "Toño", for lack of evidence. Ortiz Agudelo and Sierra Ayala were accused of murdering Garzón.

In a 10 December 2003 trial, civil party representatives in the case asked for Ortiz Agudelo and Sierra Ayala to be acquitted, while arguing for Castaño's conviction. The attorneys said evidence had been tampered with, and that, as such, Ortiz Agudelo and Sierra Ayala should be absolved. The prosecution called for a guilty verdict for all three defendants, while the Prosecutor's Office called for their acquittal.

Castaño was convicted four and a half years after Garzón's murder. The perpetrators of the crime, however, remain free. FLIP has called on the judicial authorities to begin a new investigation to identify and prosecute the murderers.

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