A judge in Colombia who was seen smoking in her underwear during a hearing held on Zoom has been suspended.
A 33-second clip, which has since been shared online, showed Judge Vivian Polania apparently reclining on a bed wearing just a top and her underpants with a cigarette in her hand. You can see the clip here:
The Zoom hearing was to decide if a man who was being held in relation to a bomb terror attack should be granted bail.
The incident was reported to Colombia’s National Commission of Judicial Ethics by one of the solicitors on the call and Judge Polania has been suspended for three months.
In a written ruling, Colombia’s National Commission of Judicial Ethics suspended her until February 2023, writing that although the hearing was conducted over Zoom she had ‘all the amenities necessary’ to make sure she was dressed appropriately to appear on camera in a professional setting.
The ruling read in part: “It is a duty of this commission to avoid repeating the judge’s contempt for the investiture of her position and the contempt she showed with her peers in the public prosecutor’s office, the prosecution and the defence.
“We find no justification for the judge to have presented herself in such deplorable conditions when she had the facilities of her own home and all the amenities necessary to prepare for a public hearing appropriately and with the respect such a hearing deserved.”
According to El Pais, Judge Polania told a local radio station that the clip shared online lacked context and claimed she had only been lying down because she had suffered an ‘anxiety attack’ during proceedings.
She told the station: “You never know when you’re going to have an anxiety attack. I always wear my gown.”
The judge also claimed she had been bullied by her fellow magistrates and alleged that they had told her that she ‘did not change [her] way of being they were going to open a disciplinary investigation’.
Jude Polania has previously been warned about photos shared on her personal Instagram account, in which she wears skimpy outfits with discount codes for the clothes.
In response to these warnings, the judge said: “Not all judges, lawyers and other state employees are the same. What I wear and show on my social media is my decision and I’m not going to change a thing.”