The forensic study by the France-based international police agency could increase pressure on Venezuela’s socialist government to explain evidence that it was helping to finance and arm the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
Colombia said its commandos recovered the computers from the rubble of a rebel camp across the border in Ecuador destroyed March 1 by Colombian forces. FARC foreign minister Raul Reyes and 24 others were killed in the raid.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called the documents fakes, consistently referring to “the supposed computer of Raul Reyes.” He denies arming or funding the FARC, though he openly sympathizes with Latin America’s most powerful rebel army.
The Ecuadorean government also have dismissed the files, after Colombia accused Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa of having received money from the FARC to finance his presidential campaign.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe turned to Interpol in hopes of dispelling doubts about the documents’ authenticity, and after two months of forensic work, the agency’s 39-page report gave him what he wanted.
The report says Colombian authorities did not always follow internationally accepted methods for handling computer evidence, but that Interpol experts found no evidence that anyone modified, deleted or created any user files on the three Toshiba Satellite laptop computers, two external hard drives and three USB memory sticks.
“There was no tampering with or altering of any of the data contained in the user files by any of the Colombian law enforcement authorities following their seizure on March 1,” said Interpol’s secretary general, Ronald Noble, a former enforcement chief for the U.S. Treasury Department.