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FORMER LEADER OF TROOPS IS IN CUSTODY

Prosecutors interrogated President Er-nesto Samper's campaign chief and former defense minister Wednesday on allegations he coaxed millions of dollars in contributions from the Cali drug cartel.

Fernando Botero was whisked out the back door of a Colombian army school where he is being held and taken to prosecutors' offices for a second day of questioning.The former defense minister surrendered Tuesday amid accusations that, as Samper's campaign director, he orchestrated the influx of at least $6.1 million in drug cartel money.

Botero, who resigned as defense minister Aug. 2, is the second member of Samper's inner circle to be arrested in the last three weeks. The widening scandal threatens to topple Samper himself.

Samper's campaign treasurer, Santiago Medina, was arrested July 26. Two days later Medina told prosecutors that Botero plotted to have the Cali cartel contribute at least $6.1 million to the campaign.

Prosecutor General Alfonso Valdivieso, who has spearheaded the investigation of the cartel's corruption of politics, told Congress after Botero's arrest that "you must not doubt that we are on the trail of clarifying what happened."

Several congressmen called for the resignation of Interior Minister Horacio Serpa, who also worked on Samper's campaign.

Opposition leaders have said Samper should resign if it's proven his campaign took drug money from the world's largest supplier of cocaine.

Both Samper and Botero deny knowingly accepting cartel money. Samper, who is under investigation by a congressional commission, has said if any car-tel money was used by the cam-paign, it happened behind his back.

In a statement, Botero said he was surrendering "to defend the actions of the president, of top government officials and my own actions in the election campaign."