Colombia’s intelligence chief denies knowledge of illegal wiretapping

The director of Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS on Tuesday denied knowledge of illegal interception of unionists’ emails and phone calls by DAS employees, following the announcement that the Inspector General’s Office will be investigating these allegations.

DAS director Felipe Muñoz claims that the evidence presented refers to illegal activities which took place in 2007 and earlier, before he was employed at the DAS.

“As stated in the letter signed by officials of the Department, the information sought in this investigation was never in my knowledge,” Muñoz asserted in a formal statement.

The current DAS chief insisted that any irregularities that occurred under his administration have been immediately reported to officials but that he supports the inspector general’s decision to begin a thorough investigation which he believes will clear his name.

“This administration has so far investigated more than 45 complaints and has initiated around 1,800 criminal disciplinary investigations” Muñoz asserted, claiming “I fully respect the decision of the inspector general and I will comply fully with the investigation to clarity the actions of this administration during the 33 months I have been head of the Department”.

According to the allegations, Muñoz and other leading DAS officials were aware of the illegal interception of telephone calls and e-mails made by trade union members, violating their right to privacy.

Also included in the investigation is former DAS director Maria del Pilar Hurtado, who is also under criminal investigation for her role the DAS wiretap scandal during the administration of ex-President Alvaro Uribe.

Several DAS and government officials have already been sent to jail over the wiretap scandal.

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