Henry de Jesus Lopez Londoño, a Colombian arrested in Argentina on drug charges, declared himself "politically persecuted" before a judge Tuesday and said he had evidence that the charges against him were "rigged" by former officials and police officers, defense attorney Carlos Olita told Efe.
"He is a victim of political persecution and more than one person that was in the government and has much power could attempt against his life," Olita said.
Lopez Londoño appeared before federal Judge Sebastian Ramos in Buenos Aires for just over 30 minutes amid tight security.
"The charges are rigged," the lawyer said, adding that Lopez Londoño "has names and documents" to back his statements.
"The Colombian government has tried to level allegations with charges from supposed individuals who testified in Colombia, and they used that to formulate a charge in the United States," the attorney said.
Lopez Londoño said in an interview published Sunday that he was not involved in the illegal drug trade and feared for his life.
"I'm afraid they're going to kill me," Lopez Londoño told the Tiempo Argentino newspaper from the federal prison in Ezeiza, a city in Buenos Aires province.
The 41-year-old Lopez Londoño is awaiting trial on his possible extradition to the United States.
He also denied reports in the Argentine press that he employed bodyguards and used armored vehicles to move around in Argentina.
Lopez Londoño said he did not work in Argentina because he lived off the income from a variety of businesses, including ranching, auto sales and real estate, he owns in Colombia.
Lopez Londoño was arrested on Oct. 30 at an Italian restaurant on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. EFE