Former Colombian Senate President Nancy Patricia Gutierrez has been placed under house arrest for apparently using illegally acquired DAS information against former Senator Piedad Cordoba, local media reported Wednesday.
Gutierrez, who is under simultaneous investigation for “para-politics,” is alleged to have been involved in the illegal surveillance of former Senator Piedad Cordoba by Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS.
The former Senate president apparently used the 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 by Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez.
Gutierrez has protested that 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 protocols required for absence from plenary Senate sessions.
The former deputy DAS director, Martha Ines Leal, testified against the former senator, stating that she had personally delivered the illegal information to Gutierrez’ apartment on the orders of disgraced ex-DAS director Maria del Pilar Hurtado, to strengthen a congressional debate against Cordoba.
Gutierrez was given house arrest, rather than being sent to prison in the present term, because she is the head of the household. The former Senate president will also be allowed to determine where she is detained.