Uribe’s personal secretary barred from public office over wiretap scandal

Bernardo Moreno, who was the personal secretary of former president Alvaro Uribe, is not allowed to hold public office for 18 years after the Inspector General on Monday convicted him for his alleged role in the illegal wiretapping of Supreme Court magistrates, politicians, journalists and human rights organizations.

Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez considered it proven that Moreno ordered intelligence agency DAS to carry out the illegal wiretaps.

For this reason, former DAS directors Jorge Noguera and Maria del Pilar Hurtado were barred for 20 and 18 years respectively.

Former DAS intelligence chief Fernando Tabares, former DAS counter-intelligence chief Jorge ALberto Lagos and financial intelligence chief Mario Aranguren are also not allowed to hold public office for 18 years.

Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office is currently carrying out a criminal investigation against those now convicted by the Inspector General. Other close aides to the former president, including former presidential adviser Jose Obdulio Gaviria are also subject to a criminal investigation.

The wiretap scandal forced Uribe to start a procedure to shut down the DAS that previously was plagued by accusations of corruption and collaboration with paramilitary death squads and drug trafficking.

Uribe himself has denied ordering any illegal wiretapping and claims that those responsible for spying on the opposition are part of “a mafia group that hurts the Colombian Democracy, freedom, the country and the government itself.”

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