Colombia’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday turned down the Intelligence Act proposed by former President Alvaro Uribe to strengthen the authorities’ intelligence and counterintelligence operations.
The court ruled the legislative bill was unconstitutional after the bill the National Commission of Jurists challenged its constitutionality, saying that the Intelligence Act violated human rights of individuals because of the excessive use of wiretapping and spying committed by intelligence agency DAS.
According to the court, the bill was unconstitutionally approved by Congress, which must start the procedure again if it still wants the Inteligence act to take effect.
The law was presented to Congress in March 2009 by Uribe who sought to strengthen intelligence and counter intelligence activities, despite the unfolding scandal involving DAS officials illegally spying on government opponents, Supreme Court magistrates, journalists and human rights organizations.
Following the wiretap scandal, Uribe was forced to begin a procedure to dismantle the DAS. Several executives of the intelligence agency and Uribe’s former chief of staff were convicted because of the illegal activities of the intelligence agency. Uribe himself denies having ordered the wiretaps.