A lawmaker calls for the Colombian Congress to formally charge former president Alvaro Uribe over his alleged role in the wiretapping scandal.
Congressman Yahir Acuna — head of the Congressional Accusations Commission which is investigating Uribe’s involvement — says testimony from intelligence agents has consistently indicated that Uribe not only knew about the illegal wiretapping of political opponents, but ordered it himself.
It’s alleged that opposition politicians, Supreme Court magistrates, human rights organizations and journalists were spied on during Uribe’s eight years in office.
Acuna says mounting evidence means the investigation should now move from its preliminary stage to formal charges being brought against the former president for conspiracy, abuse of power and the illegal use of communication equipment.
The Inspector General also asked the commission to charge the president two weeks ago, on the basis of intelligence officials’ testimonies incriminating Uribe.
In an interview with Caracol Radio, Uribe’s defense attorney rejected Acuna’s request as “absurd”. He said the lawmaker was trying to clean up his own record of “past links to [convicted money launderer] ‘La Gata'”, by staining the prestige and historic reputation” of Uribe.
Uribe is accused of having ordered the intelligence agency DAS to carry out the illegal spying. He began to dismantle the agency after the scandal broke – then became implicated himself. An investigation into his role began about a year ago.
So far, several intelligence officials have been convicted for the illegal wiretapping and Uribe’s chief of staff is in jail awaiting trial for his role in the scandal. Uribe’s former spy chief fled the country and successfully applied for political asylum in Panama before the Supreme Court could warrant her arrest.