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article imageOdebrecht scandal lands Colombian senator six years in prison

By AFP     Feb 28, 2018 in Crime

An influential Colombian senator was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison Wednesday for his role in a corruption scandal which has ensnared politicians throughout Latin America.

The Supreme Court of Justice said Bernardo Miguel Elias was guilty of bribery and influence peddling.

Elias, from the ruling Social Party of National Unity, was convicted of accepting bribes from Odebrecht to win public works contracts in the country.

He still faces other judicial proceedings related to the same case.

A Colombian prosecutor said last July that Odebrecht paid more than $27.7 million in bribes in his country, including $11.1 million the United States has identified.

The prosecutor said four senators including Elias were under investigation in connection with the payments.

Odebrecht, which was probed by the US Justice Department, agreed to pay a $3.5 billion fine after admitting to giving $788 million in bribes across 12 countries to secure contracts.

The scandal has also touched politicians in Mexico, Peru, Panama and Venezuela.

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