Colombia refused to cooperate with a Belgian investigation against the South American country, its former president, Alvaro Uribe, and its now-defunct intelligence agency DAS over the alleged illegal spying on European citizens, a Colombian news website reports.
According to Confidencial Colombia, the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office and Foreign Ministry have not responded to a Belgian court’s requests to conduct investigations inside Colombia regarding an intelligence operation carried out by the DAS. “Operation Europe” reportedly intended to discredit the European judicial system, the Human Rights Commission of the European Parliament, European governments and the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights.
European human rights NGOs have blamed the DAS for stealing a computer the night before a meeting with the International Criminal Court, spying, intercepting emails and phone calls, slander and threats.
The website reported that no Colombian has responded to a cooperation request made by the court in early 2011.
“In Belgium, justice has done everything possible; it has collected the victims’ testimonies, the investigations that could be done and promptly issued … a request to investigate” the DAS’ alleged activities against foreign citizens inside Colombia, attorney Dounia Alamat was quoted saying by the website.
“Unfortunately, the authorities of that country have not responded and [the court case] can not move forward,” the attorney added.
According to Alamat, there are bilateral judicial agreements between Belgium and Colombia, but these agreements include no time limits.
“We have sent the request to Colombian authorities, but there is no obligation to respond or to comply within an established time frame,” said the attorney.
In Colombia, the presidential intelligence agency spied on Supreme Court magistrates, journalists, human rights workers and opposition politicians.