Colombia’s Supreme Court has begun a preliminary investigation into former President Alvaro Uribe’s alleged involvement in the wiretapping of ongoing peace talks with the FARC, reported local media on Friday.
The aim of the investigation is to verify the testimony provided by Andres Sepulveda in which he claimed Uribe was aware of the allegedly illegal activity of former Democratic Center candidate Oscar Zuluaga’s presidential campaign, according to Caracol Radio.
The former president became a suspect of illegally disseminating classified military information after releasing the coordinates of where a prominent FARC rebel would be picked up to take part in ongoing peace talks with the government in Cuba.
Uribe spread this information while the presidential campaign of his political prodigy, former presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, was illegally obtaining classified information from a covert military intelligence unit that was spying on the peace talks delegations.
Sepulveda has indicated to weekly Semana this information was likely to have come from the hacker’s contacts in the military.
Hacking the peace talks
Sepulveda, who was arrested in May for allegedly carrying out cyber espionage against ongoing peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group, in August named Uribe as one of several prominent figures in the right-wing Democratic Center party Sepulveda claims orchestrated the illicit wiretapping campaign.
In his testimony, Sepulveda indicated that Uribe and Democratic Center Director Oscar Ivan Zuluaga paid him to obtain privileged intelligence from rogue elements of the military and monitor the communications of journalists, opposing political figures, and government and rebel delegates to the peace talks.
The politicians then allegedly used the information obtained to try and derail the peace process, which they have staunchly opposed. Sepulveda has also said that cyber attacks against politicians deemed enemies by the party were a key part of the Democratic Center’s strategy in last March’s congressional elections, from which the party emerged as the largest opposition bloc in Congress.
Enter even more legal trouble
In an unrelated case, it was reported Friday that Uribe was going to be investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office over his alleged involvement in the psychological torture of journalist Claudia Julieta Duque.
Uribe responded on Twitter, saying: “New accusation against me because supposedly I participated in telephone torture of a member of the Collective that defends FARC.”
With “the Collective” Uribe referred to the Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyer’s Collective, a human rights NGO that mainly represents victims of the conflict in court.
The former president has been one of President Juan Manuel Santos’ fiercest critics in Congress and himself criticized for spreading misinformation over the peace talks in order to influence the perceived legitimacy of the talks that seen an end to 50 years of political violence.