Excerpt from the acquittal judgement issued on
May 20, 1998:[Link]
The judgement of the High Tribunal of Antioquia of the 20th of May 1998 revealed, among other things, that Control Risks had tapped into corruption in the Colombian authorities, deliberately plotted against Herr and Frau Mauss, and, consequently, against their peace efforts. This was done for reasons of financial interest and with the intention of bringing about the couple’s arrest.
It is a fact, that during the course of their investigations between the beginning of 1997 and the verdict of acquittal on the 20th of May 1998, the Procuradoría – public prosecutor’s office for state and authority corruption – and the Fiscal General – General State Prosecutor for General Criminal Law – established A CRIMINAL COLLABORATION BETWEEN AUTHORITIES IN MEDELLIN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FREEING OF THE HOSTAGES AND THE COMPANY CONTROL RISKS.
The judgement reads: “As was the case with the court of the first instance, this court too is surprised by the amount of influence exercised by “Control Risks” in the handling and coordination of the process (the word process here refers to the procedures involved in the freeing of the hostage). This went so far that the representative of the English company secured a place on an irregular “committee” created on the fringes of legality by the provincial government of Antioquia for the purpose of carrying out “investigations”.
The multinational concern (Control Risks) came to have such a powerful influence on the committee that they succeeded in manipulating higher police and civil authorities in their handling of information. The judgement goes on: “The deception of the authorities (Colombian authorities) by those who had only their own and not the interests of peace at heart has all been for nothing in the end.” (End of citation)
The investigation records also make it clear that “Control Risks” abused their position as members of the committee through the dissemination of disinformation in 1996, thereby hindering the early release of the German hostage.
The Federal Government reacted to the couple’s arrest in early 1997 with a multilateral governmental declaration which was delivered to the Fiscal General - General State Prosecutor of Colombia - along with a verbal note issued on the 25th of January 1997 by the German Embassy in Bogotá. The government declaration explained the open and official nature of the couple’s role in the peace process and provided documentary clarification of this.
IN A LETTER WRITTEN TO ANOTHER WESTERN GOVERNMENT SOME YEARS LATER, ON THE 22ND OF MAY 2001, BY FORMER GERMAN MINISTER OF STATE BERND SCHMIDBAUER MdB, THE FACTS OF THE MATTER AS STATED HERE ARE FULLY CONFIRMED.
Former Chancellery Minister Schmidbauer MdB, letter [Link]
With regard to the facts stated above, in a letter dated November 22 2005, former Colombian president Ernesto Samper, who was then in office, again expresses his fullest appreciation to Herr and Frau Mauss for their outstanding services to the peace process. [Link]