The former press secretary and judicial adviser of former Colombia President Alvaro Uribe have been charged over the illegal wiretapping of the Supreme Court, politicians, journalists and human right workers carried out during the previous administration.
According to the prosecution, there exists enough evidence to demonstrate that former Press Secretary Cesar Mauricio Velasquez and Judicial Secretary Edmundo del Castillo were directly involved in the wiretapping carried out by intelligence agency DAS.
The two are already charged for a meeting with paramilitary representatives inside the presidential palace, also in 2008, to conspire to discredit the Supreme Court that was investigating Uribe’s cousin Mario, a former Senator, for his ties to paramilitary groups.
Uribe’s cousin was just one of more than 60 Congressmen, mainly from the coalition supporting Uribe, who have been convicted for ties to the AUC.
The wiretapping scandal broke in 2008 and has since resulted in the incarceration of two former DAS directors, the dismantling of the intelligence agency that had been infiltrated by paramilitary group AUC, and the incarceration of Uribe’s then chief of staff, Bernardo Moreno.
In total, more than 20 top presidential aides and intelligence officials have been sentenced to prison because of the illegal wiretapping practices and political persecution of critics and authorities investigating corruption.
Others who have recently been charged were Sergio Gonzalez and Diego Alvarez, the defense attorney of several paramilitary leaders, who were also involved in the conspiracy between the Uribe administration and the then-formally demobilized AUC.
In the latest batch of criminal charges Uribe’s former press secretary was charged with conspiracy to commit a crime.
The former president’s then judicial adviser was charged with a number of charges, including conspiracy and the illegal use of communications equipment.
Uribe has long denied any wrongdoings and has claimed that he was not the one politically persecuting opponents, but that he is the victim of a political persecution spearheaded by Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre and his successor, President Juan Manuel Santos.