Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office on Tuesday denied suspicions by the Constitutional Court that its magistrates’ phones were being wiretapped.
The prosecution’s delegate before the court, Fabio Espitia, said he conducted an internal investigation and concluded that his office did not have the capacity to wiretap magistrates.
There are no illegal interceptions of Constitutional magistrates. This was confirmed through technical evaluations of the Prosecutor General’s Office and verification with telephone operators.
Prosecution delegate Fabio Espitia
The court requested the Prosecutor General’s Office and the National Police to investigate the possible bugging of the court’s offices and phones last month after several personal conversations were leaked.
The prosecutor’s denials come the same week it was revealed that the Prosecutor General’s Office’s wiretapping units were used to carry out illegal wiretaps for a clandestine spy network.
The chief of one of the prosecution’s wiretap units was arrested last week and accepted charges of illegal violations of communications, fraud, and falsifying public documents.
The prosecution and Colombian intelligence agencies have previously been caught using state equipment for illegal wiretaps, and rogue military and intelligence personnel have been caught selling information obtained through illegal wiretaps to the private sector and state agencies.
Colombia’s constitutional court had been meeting outside its normal offices citing suspicions that the high court is bugged.
Several magistrates confirmed to newspaper El Espectador that they believe that also their phone conversations are being intercepted after several personal conversations were leaked.
According to television network Caracol, one magistrate was warned that audio of private conversations was circulating.
The court’s plenary chamber even met in a private club amid suspicions the court’s own conference room had been bugged.
In a letter, Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez confusingly implied that a spy network that allegedly was dismantled months ago already could be behind the recent wiretap claims.
I have arranged for this investigation to be added to the audios collected by the Prosecutor’s Office since January of this year, which would account for the existence of an alleged criminal organization interested in influencing the constitutional court, for which it would seek access to their private communications.
Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez
The National Police has yet to report on its own internal investigation regarding the possible bugging of the top court.