Posted by Miriam Wells on Dec 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Colombia asks Panama to extradite ex-spy chief


Colombia’s foreign ministry has confirmed it has requested the extradition of the former director of the now defunct intelligence agency, DAS, from Panama.

Maria del Pilar Hurtado, who was granted political asylum in Panama last year, is accused of the illegal surveillance of journalists, opposition politicians, NGOs and high court judges.

Colombia’s Supreme Court has called for her to be returned to her home country to face judicial proceedings.

Former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe openly acknowledged he had advised Hurtado to move to Panama, and thanked the Panamanian government publicly for taking her in.

Uribe is accused of having ordered the intelligence agency DAS to carry out the illegal spying. He began to dismantle the agency after the scandal broke – then became implicated himself. An investigation into his role began about a year ago.

So far, several intelligence officials have been convicted for the illegal wiretapping and Uribe’s chief of staff is in jail awaiting trial for his role in the scandal.