Posted by Adriaan Alsema on May 6, 2009 Leave a comment

High Courts demand statement from Uribe about wiretap scandal

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Colombia news - Supreme Court

The presidents of Colombia’s high courts want President Alvaro Uribe
to make a public statement about the scandal that hit intelligence service
DAS over the alleged illegal wiretapping of magistrates, journalists
and opposition politicians.

“Because the Administrative Department of Security DAS is a unit under his command, we ask the President of the Republic to make a public statement on the serious matter and indicate what measures were taken that led to the disrespect, attacks and harassment against the judicial branch of the Public Force and in particular against the Supreme Court of Justice so that it is not repeated,” the court presidents said in a statement.

Uribe’s Press Secretary, Cesar Mauricio Velasquez, said he found it “strange” that the courts demand that the President speak out about the wiretap scandal. According to Velasquez, Uribe called Supreme Court president Augusto Ibañez to celebrate him when Ibañez was elected president of the country’s highest court last week. The court president at that moment did not say anything about the matter, said Velasquez.

In a reaction, Ibañez said the magistrates were demanding a statement from the President himself and not his Press Secretary. The Supreme Court President added that the call made to him by the President was an act of protocol and that the wiretap scandal was not mentioned, because the President autonomously is in charge of the intelligence department.

The statement of the courts’ presidents was sent out Tuesday after the magistrates met with Prosecutor general Mario Iguaran, who is in charge of the investigation of the alleged illegal wiretaps. Iguaran announced to investigate three former directors of the intelligence agency.