News & Events

Simon Crabb observing trial in Columbia

ARNOT MANDERSON ADVOCATES  has provided one of a team of international observers for a case in Colombia, known as the “Twelve Apostles” trial.

Simon Crabb, Advocate, has just returned from Columbia having represented the Faculty of Advocates’s Human Rights and Rule of Law Committee at the trial of Santiago Uribe Velez, brother of the country’s former president, Alvaro Uribe Velez.

Santiago Uribe Velez is accused of co-founding a paramilitary group called the Twelve Apostles which is alleged to have been behind murders and disappearances in Colombia in the 1990s.

Before calling to the Scottish Bar and joining Arnot Manderson in 2017, Simon worked for four years in Colombia, for Peace Brigades International and Lawyers Without Borders.

He returned to South America after joining an observation mission which was organised by the Colombian Caravana, a UK charity working with Colombian human rights lawyers and human rights defenders to promote access to justice and uphold the rule of law.

The observers spent some days at the trial in Medellin, Colombia, before proceedings were adjourned until April next year.

Simon said: “The Twelve Apostles case is an emblematic prosecution that is of great interest to the international community. We commend the efforts by the Colombian justice system to investigate allegations of serious human rights violations and we hope that our presence as independent observers contributes towards justice being done.”

Simon Crabb Main Website Photo

Simon Crabb

The Colombian Caravana is a UK-registered charity that co-organises the International Caravana of Jurists. During biennial visits since 2008, including during the most recent visit in September of the present year, the Colombian Caravana has called upon the Colombian government to protect the ability of lawyers and human rights defenders to represent their clients, and to refrain from any interfering in their work, in order to comply with both Colombian and international law. For more information on the Colombian Caravana and the trial, please visit:

For more information on the Faculty of Advocates, please visit:

For more information on the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk, please visit:

For more information on the Bar Human Rights Committee, please visit: