The exiled former director of DAS, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, is suing the Colombian government for $275,500 for the inspector general’s decision to ban her from holding political office for 18 years.
Hurtado claims furthermore that she is being used as a political scapegoat for the wiretapping scandal and that she was only acting upon the orders of Bernardo Moreno, the personal secretary to former President Alvaro Uribe.
The Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras said that he will do all within his power to defend the state against this lawsuit, adding, “This is all we needed, that from your place in exile you sue the state,” Caracol Radio reported.
Vice President Angelino Garzon also expressed his disappointment in Hurtado’s decision but added that as a democracy, Colombia must respect the filing of the lawsuit and carry out due legal process.
Hurtado is one of four former DAS directors who are accused of complicity in ordering the wiretapping of government opponents during Uribe’s administration. Each former director is suspected of seven offences, including conspiracy to commit crime, abuse of authority, falsification of public documents, destruction of public documents, and fraud.
Hurtado fled to Panama in November last year where she was controversially granted political asylum while investigations were ongoing against her.