Colombian Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez announced that he would take charge of a disciplinary investigation into the alleged wiretapping program “Andromeda”, local media reported on Friday.
In an interview with NTN24 TV channel, Ordoñez said he would — as requested by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos — use the preferential power of the Public Ministry that allows him “to take over and advance the investigation.”
Santos had made the request while speaking at the Conference of American Armies earlier on Thursday.
“I have decided to exercise these legal and constitutionals powers,” Ordoñez said in the interview and explained that the preferential power permits him to assume charge of the disciplinary investigations that up until now were being conducted by the Army itself.
Now into its second week, the wiretapping allegations accuse military intelligence of intercepting communications from members of the political opposition, journalists and delegates of the ongoing peace talks with the FARC rebel group in Cuba.
The Inspector General added that the has already given the orders to advance the investigation and has requested copies of all the evidence collected to date from the computers seized in the house where Andromeda unit was allegedly operating.
Earlier on Thursday, President Santos had stated that “in the interests of transparency, in the interests of the trust that citizens should have in their army, whatever the outcome, the Inspector General’s office should use its preferential power to scrutinize every corner for people to be absolutely satisfied.”
The scandal has put the military and the government under the spotlight over the last two of weeks with Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon having to appear before Congress on Wednesday himself where he signaled that he would wait for the investigation’s results before taking punitive measures.
Today is the deadline initially given by President Santos to Army’s Inspector General to deliver results of the investigation.
- Palabras del Presidente Juan Manuel Santos durante la Ceremonia de Entrega de Estandartes de la Conferencia de Ejércitos Americanos (Presidential Office Press Release)
- Procurador asume investigación por “chuzadas” del Ejército Nacional (Santa Fe Radio)
- Procurador asumirá su poder preferente para investigar las ‘chuzadas’ de Andrómeda (RCN Radio)