The date of May 18 has been set for the first hearing of charges brought against former DAS Director Maria del Pilar Hurtado and secretary to ex-President Alvaro Uribe, Bernardo Moreno, for their involvement in the DAS wiretapping scandal, Semana reported Thursday.
Both are required to present themselves before presiding Judge Luis Fernando Ramierz at the Superior Court in Bogota to hear the five charges of conspiracy, unlawful violation of communications, misuse of public office, breach of public duty and falsification of public documents.
However, Hurtado’s lawyer Jaime Camacho stated earlier on Thursday that his client would not travel to Colombia to attend the hearing. The former DAS director is currently in Panama having been controversially awarded asylum there in November 2010.
In response, Colombia’s Prosecutor General Viviane Morales, in an interview with Caracol Radio, said “Dr Maria Pilar Hurtado has territorial asylum but I have an obligation through all the means at my disposal, I expect her to be present but if she does not appear I will request a declaration of contempt, a detention order and if if she does not present herself, an Interpol red notice.”
An Interpol red notice is a provisional arrest warrant with a view to extradition. In contrast, Moreno stated Wednesday that he would not flee the country, and attend any potential hearing, citing his trust in Colombia’s judicial system.
The issuance of a formal date comes one day after Morales requested the Court in Bogota to file charges against the two for ordering lower-ranking intelligence officials to illegally monitor magistrates, journalists, government opponents and human rights campaigners during the Uribe administration.