Colombia Supreme Court elects chief prosecutor

AP News
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Posted: Mar 22, 2012 7:32 PM
Colombia Supreme Court elects chief prosecutor

Colombia's Supreme Court has chosen lawyer Eduardo Montealegre has the country's new chief prosecutor.

Thursday's vote gave Montealegre the needed 16 votes out of the 23 justices on the high court. He was one of three lawyers whose names were submitted by President Juan Manuel Santos.

Montealegre replaces Viviane Morales. The Council of State, another of Colombia's four top courts, removed her on Feb. 29, saying there were irregularities in her election by the Supreme Court. After Morales' removal, Martha Lucpia Zamora served as interim chief prosecutor until the vote was held.

The chief prosecutor is considered one of the country's most powerful posts and has the authority to arrest any Colombian citizen, including senior officials.