Panama’s Supreme Court has revoked political asylum for the disgraced former director of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency, who is wanted in connection with a wiretapping scandal, national media reported Wednesday.
After repeated requests by Colombian authorities for the extradition of Maria del Pilar Hurtado, formerly head of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency DAS, the Panamanian Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that her political asylum was “unconstitutional,” reported Prensa Latina.
Hurtado fled Colombia in 2010 before an arrest warrant could be brought against her for conspiracy, illegal interception of communication, abuse of public power, and fraud. Claiming to be a victim of political persecution, the former DAS director was granted asylum in Panama by then-president Ricardo Martinelli.
One of the country’s more infamous wiretapping scandals unfolded under Hurtado in 2008, after it was revealed that the DAS had been spying on the Supreme Court, journalists, human rights defenders, and politicians in opposition to the Uribe administration.
FACT SHEET: DAS wiretapping scandal
According to Prensa Latina, President Santos spoke by phone last month with Panama’s president-elect, Juan Carlos Varela, to request Hurtado’s extradition, emphasizing that she is not under political persecution, but a “common criminal.”
Before Hurtado can be extradited or deported, she must be personally notified of the ruling, which must then be made public 10 days afterward, Colombia’s Caracol Radio reported on Wednesday.
According to communications with the Panamanian Supreme Court, the ruling will likely be published after president-elect Varela is officially installed in office on July 1.