Colombia’s Accusations Commission insisted Friday on the need to obtain the testimony of former DAS Director Maria del Pilar Hurtado regarding her alleged involvement in ex-President Alvaro Uribe’s wiretapping scandal, reported Colombian media.
Del Pilar Hurtado has sought asylum in Panama after resigning from her position following allegations of unlawful violation of communications, misuse of public office, breach of public duty, and falsification of public documents.
In Thursday’s commission hearing, Uribe denied all charges against him in the wiretapping case. “Our only instruction to DAS was to fight against crime. We never ordered the persecution of a political party, a journalist, or a union member,” emphasized the former head of state.
However, investigators hope to acquire supporting evidence in the case that will allow them to bring justice to the wiretapping scandal.
The conclusion of Thursday’s hearing has prompted investigators to re-examine the testimonies of witnesses and Uribe’s associates, which has resulted in an attempt to reach out to del Pilar Hurtado for her testimony in the case.
The Investigation Commission sent a request to Panama a few months ago for the release of del Pilar Hurtado’s testimony but they maintain that there has still been no response as to whether she is available to comment. According to investigators, once more evidence is gathered on the case, which hopefully includes the addition of del Pilar Hurtado’s testimony, it will be necessary for the commission to re-summon Uribe.
In front of the commission Thursday, Uribe denied that he and del Pilar Hurtado ordered the interception of the communications and wiretapping of journalist Daniel Coronell.
The ex-president stated that, “it never crossed my mind to give illegal instructions” and maintained that Hurtado was a person of “great ethical and professional qualities.”
In response to the claims of several ex-directors of the DAS who said Hurtado confessed that the president’s office requested wiretaps, Uribe asked the commission to take into account that the allegations were made by witnesses negotiating with the Prosecutor General’s Office.