Former Colombian President Ernesto Samper has denied the accusations of a U.S. lawyer that he accepted $5 million in bribes from a drug cartel.

After learning of the accusations made in a court document filed last week in the U.S. southeastern state of Florida, Mr. Samper rejected the charge Thursday, calling it a serious affront to Colombian rule of law.

U.S. attorney Paul Perez accuses the former president and many Colombian congressmen of accepting in bribes from the Cali drug cartel to pass a law prohibiting extraditions for crimes committed before 1997.  Mr. Samper was president from 1994 to 1998.

The court statement by Mr. Perez was filed as part of a case against accused drug kingpin Joaquin Mario Valencia, who was extradited to the United States last year. 

Colombian officials say Mr. Perez's comments could put further extraditions at risk.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.