Prosecution violated due process in Zuluaga wiretap case: Court

Oscar Ivan Zuluaga

The Prosecutor General’s Office is violating the right to due process of former presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga who is accused of illegally spying on ongoing peace talks, a court said Tuesday.

The Superior Tribunal of Bogota ordered deputy Prosecutor General Jorge Fernando Perdomo to hand over evidence of Zuluaga’s alleged complicity in the spying scandal within 48 hours.

The former presidential candidate got into trouble with justice after prosecutors arrested hacker Andres Sepulveda in May, weeks before the first round of presidential elections.

Zuluaga appeared in a video in which Sepulveda informed the conservative opposition politician about his work.

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Oscar Ivan Zuluaga

Democratic Center

For seven months, Zuluaga has been asking for the video. However, in spite of several requests, the prosecution failed to surrender the evidence to Zuluaga’s defense team.

Perdomo was ordered by the court to “to send a substantive response to the request of Mr. Oscar Ivan Zuluaga.”

The prosecution’s delay in sharing incriminating evidence constitutes a violation of due process, the judge warned.

Zuluaga, now the director of opposition party Democratic Center, has repeatedly claimed to be the victim of a political persecution and that he has been denied his rights to a fair trial.

Zuluaga’s party was formed by former President Alvaro Uribe in 2013 to recover political power he had lost after falling out with his successor, current President Juan Manuel Santos.

The Democratic Center entered Congress after the March 2014 Congressional elections and has since been opposing ongoing peace talks with the FARC.

The fierce “Uribista” opposition has caused a major division in Congress that is dominated by the centrist coalition supporting the president.

Uribe and his allies have long claimed to be the victim of political persecution as the former president and a number of his allies are facing criminal charges over crimes and alleged crimes carried out by members of the Uribe administrations (2002-2010)

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