Key witness in wiretap scandal case dies: El Tiempo

The key witness in the case against DAS officials who allegedly illegally wiretapped government opponents has died, the website of El Tiempo reported on Thursday.

The deceased Jaime Fernando Ovalle Olaz was the coordinator of the G3 unit of the DAS, in charge of the illegal wiretapping of opposition politicians, human rights workers and journalists.

Ovalle was in the process of testifying against his former colleagues and bosses of Colombia’s degraced intelligence service and was still to specify which government officials knew about the illegal wiretaps, said the website.

El Tiempo said that the witness died of natural causes after a long sickness.

The Prosecutor General’s Office, in charge of the investigation, called seven former DAS officials to trial earlier this week after months of investigation into the obscure G3 unit.

Based on Ovalle’s testimony, the Prosecutor General’s Office recently described the G3 unit as a criminal organization that did not operate as a rogue unit, but rather had full collaboration from senior DAS intelligence officials.

Ovalle’s testimony also provided evidence that DAS agents delivered the intelligence to members of the government. The Prosecutor General’s Office ordered a separate investigation in order to determine the identity of these government officials.

“It is evident that G3 was a criminal organization created with the DAS with full agreement and assistance from collaborators, not only those who were members of the group, but equally and principally, the superiors and directors of the organization, who were required to provide information to members of the national government,” said the Prosecutor General’s office in a document sent to the Supreme Court.

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