Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has been subpoenaed to provide a deposition in a lawsuit against a U.S. coal company that allegedly supported right-wing death squads who killed at least 116 people in that nation.
Uribe is not directly accused of wrong-doing but may shed light on key issues in the case that is being tried in U.S. federal court, said Terry Collingsworth, the plaintiffs' lawyer.
The suit alleges that Alabama-based Drummond worked with the Colombian Army and the United Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC paramilitary group, from 1999-2005 to battle left-wing guerrillas that there were threatening its installations.
Collingsworth represents about 500 plaintiffs who say their family members were killed by the AUC during those operations.
Lawyers want to question Uribe about cooperation between the Colombian Army and the AUC, and what the government knew about Drummond's activities.
Collingsworth also said one of Uribe's aides was on Drummond's payroll at the time.
``What did Drummond get for their money?'' Collingsworth asked. ``Protection?''
Uribe, who led Colombia from 2002 to 2010, has maintained his innocence.
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