September 29, 2015 / 2:01 PM / 2 years ago

Colombia justice deal does not address possible jail time: FARC rebels

BOGOTA (Reuters) - The justice accord signed at peace talks between Marxist FARC rebels and the Colombian government does not address possible prison time for those who confess crimes committed during the country's 51-year war, the rebel group said on Tuesday, contradicting government statements on the issue.

The government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) pledged last week to sign a peace accord within six months to end the conflict. As part of the deal they agreed to create special tribunals to try former rebels and military suspected of war crimes.

The government has said the accord on justice, considered the thorniest of the topics at the negotiating table, establishes that those responsible for massacres, kidnappings, forced disappearances, torture and sexual violence should be tried and sentenced to serve time in austere conditions.

However, in a statement on its website, the FARC said that the accord does not talk about incarceration for rebels who have fully confessed or about confining guerrilla troops to designated areas.

The FARC added that the accord on justice was closed, saying, "It is not true that, in regards to its substantive and procedural content, there are topics which require additional precision."

Its statement came after lead government negotiator Humberto de la Calle said on Monday that the justice accord was still in development and that some topics remain to be decided.

Among key issues that the government says have yet to be finalized are whether FARC leaders convicted of crimes would later be allowed to participate in politics and if guerrillas could face extradition abroad.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosts; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Frances Kerry

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