The alleged kidnappers of Luis Diaz's father appeared before a judge today, where they were filmed sniggering and protesting their innocence. However, an angry state prosecutor scolded them and demanded more respect, stating that the matter at hand was serious.
During the hearing in the Colombian city of Riohacha, prosecutors revealed that the motive behind Luis Manuel Diaz's October 28 kidnapping was the desire for monetary gain. The four suspects, including one who posed as a football trainer to infiltrate Mr. Diaz's inner circle, are accused of aggravated kidnapping for extortion.
The state prosecutor present at the hearing argued that the suspects posed a danger to society, were a flight risk, and should not be granted bail. The suspects have been identified as members of a gang called Los Primos, known for drug trafficking and believed to be a sub-division of the notorious Gulf Clan.
The judge announced that his ruling on whether the suspects should be remanded in jail or released on conditional bail would be made next Monday. One of the suspects, Yerdinson Bolivar, has been linked to the surveillance of Diaz's father as part of a covert operation.
The other suspects, Marlon Rafael Brito Bolivar and Brayan Javier Morales Sanjuan, reportedly used motorbikes to carry out the abduction. Andrys Alcides Bolivar Bolivar, described as the leader of the operation, organized the handover of Mr. Diaz to the ELN left-wing insurgent group.
Colombian authorities have emphasized that no ransom money was paid for Mr. Diaz's release. The country's Attorney General Francisco Barbosa praised the successful rescue operation within 72 hours of Diaz's freedom. After being reunited with his family, Mr. Diaz plans to renew his wedding vows with his wife, who was also targeted in the kidnapping.