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Prosecutor suspends mayor of Colombia's capital

By the CNN Wire Staff
Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno will be suspended for three months.
Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno will be suspended for three months.
  • NEW: Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno says the accusations set a dangerous precedent
  • He faces allegations of mishandling public contracts
  • The attorney general says the mayor will be suspended for three months
  • Moreno's brother, a senator, was arrested in a corruption investigation last week

(CNN) -- The mayor of Colombia's capital was suspended Tuesday while authorities investigate accusations that he mishandled public contracts, the country's attorney general said.

Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno will be suspended for three months, the attorney general told reporters.

"I have made the decision to immediately take this interim measure, which does not imply conviction," Attorney General Alejandro Ordonez said.

The investigation focuses on allegations of significant delays, irregularities in contracts and financing issues in the construction of part of the city's rapid bus system, known as the Transmilenio.

Moreno said the accusations set a dangerous precedent, holding the mayor responsible for the work of other city officials.

"The attorney general levied charges which are not within my responsibilities," he said in a statement.

He claimed the charges have nothing to do with his honesty or morality as mayor.

"The attorney general began this investigation with some accusations of corruption, and ended accusing me of administrative omissions, but not of corruption," Moreno said. "With that I affirm my honesty and honor, as I have said from the beginning to the citizens."

The mayor's brother, Sen. Ivan Moreno, was arrested by authorities as part of a corruption investigation last week, CNN affiliate Caracol TV reported. He has said he is not guilty.

"I am innocent, the victim of a perverse strategy drawn up by a powerful clan of crooks. You can not reward the guilty and punish the righteous," the senator said in a statement after his arrest.

More than seven million people live in Bogota, Colombia's capital.