Panama is standing by its offer of asylum to the former head of the Colombian intelligence agency DAS, denying knowledge of any international arrest warrant against her, EFE reported Tuesday.
Reports emerged last weekend that the Prosecutor General’s Office was about to issue an international arrest warrant for former DAS Director, Maria del Pilar Hurtado.
However the Panamanian Foreign Ministry has denied knowledge of the existence of any such warrant and reiterated its support for Hurtado, issuing a statement saying, “Everyone has the right to seek and receive in foreign territory … in accordance with the laws of each state and international conventions.”
The ministry added that in Hurtado’s case there is no exception meaning her asylum must therefore be respected.
Hurtado was controversially granted asylum in Panama in November 2010 following accusations that she had illegally monitored magistrates, politicians and journalists as part of the wiretapping scandal carried out under former President Alvaro Uribe’s administration.
Hurtado was director of the DAS between August 2007 and October 2008 and is one of four former directors of the agency currently being investigated for her part in the scandal.