Fabio Valencia Cossio, interior and justice minister under President Uribe, took part in meetings about the illegal wiretapping of Supreme Court judges, journalists, politicians and human rights organizations, a key witness in the case told prosecutors.
According to Caracol Radio, the former deputy operations director of intelligence service DAS told prosecutors she held four meetings in the presidential palace about “matters of national security” with two former DAS directors, attended in at least one case by Valencia Cossio.
One of the directors, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, was recently barred from holding public office for 18 years because of her part in the scandal. According to the witness testimony of Martha Ines Leal, Pilar Hurtado’s predecessor Andres Peñate, who was never charged by the inspector general, insisted on the spying on former Minister Alvaro Leyva Duran, opposition Senator Piedad Cordoba, and especially journalist Daniel Coronell.
According to the witness testimony, Peñate said that former President Alvaro Uribe was bothered by the journalist’s publications on Uribe and his family.
The wiretap scandal caused outrage among judicial workers, journalist and human rights organizations and forced Uribe to dismantle the DAS. Colombia’s Congress this week began an investigation against the former president to determine his role in the scandal.