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Former Colombian Justice Minister Convicted of Involvement in Assassination


A Colombian court has convicted former justice minister Alberto Santofimio of involvement in the 1989 assassination of leading presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan and sentenced him to 24 years in prison.

A Bogota court issued its ruling Thursday, saying Santofimio ordered a "murder for terrorist purposes."

Santofimio was a political rival of Galan, who was shot dead at a rally near Bogota while campaigning for the 1990 presidential election.

Authorities say the gunmen were linked to the Medellin drug cartel led by kingpin Pablo Escobar, who was killed in 1993. Galan was campaigning on a promise to combat the influence of drug trafficking in Colombian politics.

Before Escobar was killed, cartel assassins killed scores of people as part of a campaign to pressure the Colombian government into preventing extraditions to the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.