Former agriculture minister Andres Felipe Arias has requested more than $300,000 in damages from the Colombian government to avoid a lawsuit over his dismissal following corruption charges.

In documents filed to the Inspector General’s office, Arias alleged he deserves compensation for emotional damage and damage to his reputation after he was fired and barred from public service for 16 years in the wake of the Agro Ingreso Seguro (AIS) scandal, according to local media.

Arias is being held in custody while he faces a Supreme Court trial, accused of siphoning agricultural subsidies intended for poor farmers and diverting them to wealthy families.
In the documents, Arias also alleged that Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez denied him the right to use certain defense material. The damages were calculated based on lost wages and support for Arias’ wife and children, according to the documents.