Velasco warned that it is better for Uribe to be investigated in a serious manner in Colombia than have to face the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The politician made his call for an investigation to the Committee for Investigations and Accusations. He said that Uribe’s “closest collaborators” have been investigated and punished for the scandal, and “people wonder if the president knew, or if they went behind his back.”
Velasco added that “the committee has been delayed in initiating an investigation that the country is calling for.”
Piedad Cordoba, a Liberal senator barred from office due to her ties with the FARC, said that the wiretap situation is “complex and delicate” and called for those affected to come together to decide on what action to take.
Cordoba added that there should be “due process in the House of Representatives” but was skeptical about the potential investigation, saying that “everything is about [Uribe].”
Uribe’s personal secretary Bernardo Moreno was recently barred from working in public service for 18 years for his part in the illegal surveillance.
New details have emerged in the case of Moreno, who was accused of wiretapping Supreme Court magistrates, politicians, journalists, and human rights workers.
The charge which caused him to be barred from holding public office is that he “exceeded his functions” on April 24, 2008 when he met with officials from the Colombian intelligence agency DAS and the Financial Analysis Unit (UIAF) to seek information on Ascencio Reyes, a controversial businessman with alleged ties to Supreme Court magistrates and drug traffickers.
The sequence of events which led to his conviction dates back to November 2007, when Moreno provided Mario Aranguren with information about a 2006 trip to Neiva, Huila, taken by some Supreme Court justices. The trip was sponsored by the travel company Basan, which was owned by Ascencio Reyes, a rumored drug trafficker.
Shortly after, Moreno asked Maria del Pilar Hurtado, the director of DAS at the time, to “to verify information on Mr. Ascencio Reyes, his alleged ties to drug trafficking and the possible infiltration of the Supreme Court” according to court documents.
According to the court decision, there was nothing improper about theses actions, because “it is the duty of every public authority to refer to those matters within their knowledge and for which it lacks jurisdiction to process them.”
On April 24, 2008 Moreno called the UIAF to ask for progress on the case, as well as communicated with the director of DAS about the same topic.
According to the prosecutor in the case, this is the point where Moreno stepped over the line, because the secretary to the president “has no assigned functions or issues related to security or intelligence services.”
It was concluded that Moreno “ignored the right to privacy” of Reyes and “exceeded statutory functions.”
Former intelligence officials have come forward claiming that they did intelligence work focused on the Supreme Court and NGOs. They claim to have been paid to try to get as much information as possible on Supreme Court cases, and even were asked to record private meetings of the justices. This work was allegedly passed on to the presidential palace.
While Uribe has denied knowing about these meetings, he said that he takes responsibility for Moreno’s conduct and has agreed to participate in any future investigations.