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Colombia president asked to testify in campaign probe

BOGOTA — Colombia's National Electoral Council is asking President Juan Manuel Santos to voluntarily testify in its investigation into whether his re-election campaign received contributions from the scandal-tarred Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

Council head Alexander Vega told reporters Thursday that Santos has been invited to "clarify acts related to his presidential campaign" on May 8. He said the president can appear in person or respond to questions in writing.

Santos has not yet commented on the request. The council has no judicial authority.

Santos apologized to Colombians in March after his former campaign manager acknowledged Odebrecht paid $400,000 to a vendor to print 2 million campaign posters, though the official said the president had no knowledge of the irregular payment.

Odebrecht has admitted paying almost $800 million in bribes across Latin America.

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