The Ecuadorean prosecutor general said that he asked newspaper El Universo to reveal the source who provided information on alleged wiretapping of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa by Colombian security agency DAS, reports EFE.
Washington Pesantez asked the newspaper to help with the investigation by handing over all relevant information as it was a matter of national security.
“All Ecuadoreans are obliged to cooperate in an investigation, and even more if it is a crime violating … internal and external security,” Pesantez said.
El Universo published allegations by a DAS official, who wished to remain anonymous, that members of the security agency were stationed in the Ecuadorean capital in order to intercept both landline and cellphone calls made from Correa’s office.
A source at El Univesro told EFE that the newspaper had not received any requests to reveal the source and insisted that the publication had no intentions of doing so.
“The scope of the confidentiality of the source is clearly stated in the constitution, which provides the right to confidentiality … [and] professional secrecy,” said the source to the news agency.
“Journalists, when they make a commitment to a source, try to respect it, have to respect it,”
President Alvaro Uribe strongly denied the allegations and said that they were part of an ongoing plan to harm Colombia’s international image.
“This case joins the many others in which ill-intentioned people, probably close to DAS, have used information that doesn’t correspond to reality in order to affect the good name of the [Colombian] government, and in this case, affect its international relations,” Uribe explained.
Ecuador’s Prosecutor General’s office opened the preliminary investigation into the case on Monday.
The surveillance operation was allegedly launched after the Colombian army conducted a raid on a FARC camp on Ecuadorean territory in 2008, causing diplomatic relations between the neighboring countries to fracture. According to the informant, DAS’s surveillance points in Quito may still exist.
Following the allegations, President Correa warned that his government would once again break diplomatic ties with Colombia if the claim that DAS had spied on him proved to be true.