Two Panamanian lawyers have demanded that their country’s Supreme Court renounce the political asylum afforded to the ex-director of Colombia’s intelligence agency, international media reported Friday.
Lawyers Paulo Vega and Angel Alvarez submitted a request to the court that the asylum be declared unconstitutional, after the Panamanian government said yesterday that it would not turn Maria del Pilar Hurtado over to the Colombian government, despite the request made for the her extradition.
The lawyers have alleged that the measures adopted by the Panamanian government in favor of the ex-director run contrary to laws regarding political asylum and violate international accords, based on the fact that Hurtado is being pursued for common, rather than political, crimes.
“We are presenting a demand of inconstitutionality against Executive Decree 301 of November 2010 in virtue of the [fact] that Hurtado is not being pursued politically, but, rather, for common crimes,” said the lawyers.
On Thursday evening, the Colombian government issued a statement that it would seek Hurtado’s extradition from Panama, where she has been sheltered since fall 2010, following official charges placed against the ex-official by Prosecutor General Viviane Morales on Wednesday.
Hurtado is charged with ordering the illegal wiretapping of political opponents, supreme court judges, journalists and human rights workers, as well as conspiracy, the illegal interception of communication, abuse of public power and fraud.