A controversial Colombian judge caught smoking in her underwear during a Zoom hearing has been suspended, according to local news.
The incident was brought to the attention of Colombia’s National Commission on Judicial Ethics after one of the lawyers mentioned Judge Vivian Polania’s alleged impropriety during the conversation.
The 33-second video clip appears to show the Cucuta judge dressed in a tank top and her underwear as she puffs on a cigarette and debates during the virtual hearing on whether a man who was detained over a car bomb terror attack should be allowed bail should be released.
The judge received repeated warnings for posting photos to her personal Instagram account in scantily clad outfits with clothing discount codes next to them.
In response to those earlier warnings, Ms. Polania responded by claiming that she was simply expressing herself as a “braless and open-minded” person.
“Not all judges, lawyers and other officials are the same. What I wear and show on my social media is my decision and I’m not going to change anything,” she said at the time.
This time, however, the repercussions against the Colombian judge are not because of the way she behaves online in her personal domain, but rather because of her online professional sphere.
The Colombian National Commission for Judicial Ethics said in a written ruling on Ms Polania’s suspension, effective until February 2023, that while the courtroom was virtual, she still had “all the facilities necessary” to make herself presentable .
“It is the duty of this commission to avoid repeating the judge’s contempt for the inauguration of her office and the contempt she showed towards her colleagues in the prosecutor’s office, prosecutor’s office and defense,” the commission wrote. her suspension decision.
“We find no justification for the judge to present herself in such appalling circumstances when she had the facilities of her own home and all the amenities necessary to properly prepare for a public hearing and with the respect that such hearing deserved.”
Speaking to a local radio station about the incident, Ms Polania argued that the video clip circulating online is misleading because, she claimed, she only lay down because she had an anxiety attack during the procedure. El País reported.
Ms Polania also claimed during the interview with Blu Radio that she was bullied for years by fellow magistrates for her online behaviour, adding that those individuals reportedly told her that “if I didn’t change my way of being, she would face a disciplinary investigation “.
“You never know when you’re going to have an anxiety attack. I always wear my dress,” she told the radio station this week. El País reported, before adding that she “had low blood pressure”.