Bernardo Moreno, former President Alvaro Uribe‘s then-chief of staff ordered the illegal wiretapping of judges, senators, and journalists, the former intelligence chief of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency DAS told the court Wednesday.
Former DAS executive Fernando Tabares reiterated the accusations in the trial against Mario Arangunen, the former director of Colombia’s financial intelligence agency UIAF who is on trial for his alleged involvement in the wiretap scandal.
“Bernardo Moreno stressed to [fugitive former DAS director] Maria del Pilar Hurtado the necessity to keep the President and other State officials well informed on four specific issues which were the Supreme Court, senators Piedad Cordoba and Gustavo Petro, as well as journalist Daniel Coronell,” Tabares testified.
Tabares said towards that end Hurtado gave orders for the illegal monitoring of the Supreme Court under the pretext of investigating the influence of drug traffickers in Colombia’s highest court.
Hurtado fled Colombia before charges were brought against her. She received political asylum in Panama despite the Colombian government’s request for her extradition. Moreno is in jail awaiting trial. Uribe is currently under investigation by Colombia’s House of Representatives for his possible role in the scandal.
Following a plea-bargain with prosecutors, Tabares is serving an eight-year prison sentence over the illegal wiretapping and has become one of the key witnesses in the cases against former Uribe aides allegedly involved in the illegal wiretapping.
After the wiretap scandal broke, Uribe decided to dismantle the agency whose image had already been severely damaged over ties to the now-demobilized paramilitary organization AUC and the killing of unionists.