Ex-Bogota mayor ordered held in corruption probe

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- A judge has ordered that the suspended
mayor of Colombia's capital be detained while he is tried for
allegedly seeking payoffs in exchange for awarding construction
contracts.

Samuel Moreno was suspended from his post in May and earlier
this week was charged with crimes including embezzlement and
extortion. If convicted, the 51-year-old could face up to 15 years
in prison.

Prosecutors argued that if Moreno was left free, he could use
his influence to obstruct the investigation.

The judge accepted that argument Friday. Moreno will be
transfered to prison in the coming days.

Moreno has said he is innocent.

The Bogota mayor's position is considered the second most
powerful elected office in Colombia after the presidency.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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