Former Senate President Nancy Patricia Gutierrez was taken to court Wednesday for her alleged involvement in the illegal wiretapping of ex-Senator Piedad Cordoba, Colombian media reported.
According to news magazine Semana, Guitierrez was officially charged with influence peddling of a public servant. She faces a five to eight years in prison if convicted.
The former Senate president allegedly used illegally collected information to advance FARC-politics accusations in Congress against Cordoba, who was subsequently dismissed from the Senate for alleged FARC ties and banned from holding office for 18 years.
Gutierrez has pled innocence, claiming she was not trying to use illegally obtained information and was merely attempting to unearth information about Cordoba’s foreign trips, particularly one visit to Mexico, to clarify whether she had followed the required protocols to be absent from Senate sessions.
The former deputy DAS director, Martha Ines Leal, testified against Gutierrez, stating that she had personally delivered the illegal information to Gutierrez’s apartment on the orders of ex-DAS director Maria del Pilar Hurtado, to strengthen a congressional debate against Cordoba. The Colombian government is currently seeking the extradition of del Pilar Hurtado, who is receiving political asylum in Panama, for her involvement in the wiretapping scandal.
Gutierrez has been under house arrest since May 2011.