A Colombian company that deals in acoustic and digital forensics stated on Thursday that a video depicting presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga listening to allegedly illegally classified information, was edited.
Senior attorney for Adalid Corp, Andres Guzman, concluded that after testing the video in question, “there are clear inconsistencies with which it can be concluded that the video has been edited,” giving partial confirmation of the concerns of Zuluaga’s lawyer, Jaime Granados, that the video had been tampered with.
This past weekend, Semana magazine released the incriminating video that shows Zuluaga, presidential candidate for the Democratic Center (Centro Democratico-CD) party, listening to allegedly illegally obtained information about ongoing peace talks between Colombia’s government and the country’s oldest guerrilla group, the FARC.
The information in the video is being provided by “hacker” Andres Sepulveda, who was recently arrested in Bogota after he was found to be involved in a larger wiretapping operation uncovered by agents from the Prosecutor General’s Technical Investigation Team (CTI). A raid on his apartment unearthed surveillance equipment and classified military intelligence.
The report by Adalid found 17 inconsistencies with the video recordings, including moments in which, the audio does not match the movement of Zuluaga’s mouth. Of those 17, the report claims that four points prove the video was staged and that there are moments in which the voices are modified.
Zuluaga’s political patron and ex-president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, took to twitter to share the news that the inconsistencies had been discovered.
La FM Análisis al video del hacker Sepúlveda y Zuluaga indica que tiene inconsistencias http://t.co/jyKy3qaFOV
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) Mayo 22, 2014
Despite admitting to Blu Radio that he had worked with Zuluaga’s lawyer, Jaime Granados, a number of times, Guzman was keen to impress that the firm was not hired by the Zuluaga campaign but did the study independently to ascertain the validity of the video.
However the usefulness of this analysis comes under question as the study was done on the video released by Semana and not on the original five videos which were released by El Tiempo newspaper. When compared with the completely unedited original five recordings, it is clear that the video Semana published was edited to remove extraneous shots where Zuluaga was not depicted or the camera was hidden. Semana also added subtitles to the originally released video.
Alejandro Santos, director of Semana magazine, seemed unfazed by the allegations of manipulation, stating that “It is understandable that they are attempting to discredit the video. I think the important thing is that the authorities investigate and pass a verdict. Such issues will generate this type of reactions,” reported Blu Radio.
The findings have been submitted to the Prosecutor General’s Office for further analysis.