Exchange of imprisoned FARC leader not part of peace deal: Kerry

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA (Reuters) - The fate of Ricardo Palmera, an imprisoned leader of Colombia’s FARC rebels known as Simón Trinidad, is not on the table as part of a peace agreement between the group and the Colombian government, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

He said a prisoner exchange involving Palmera is not being considered. There have been questions about whether Trinidad’s pardon or some kind of exchange might come about as a result of the peace accord set to be signed on Monday.

“Simon Trinidad was not and is not part of this agreement,” Kerry told reporters during a trip to Cartagena for the signing of the agreement to end 52 years of war. “We’re well aware of the requests that have been made and the interests that people have. But that’s really something that has to be dealt with through the Justice Department, not the State Department.”

Trinidad is serving a 60-year term at a maximum-security federal prison in Colorado for his role in the kidnapping of three U.S. government contractors in 2003.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Andrew Hay