Colombia’s National Police commander, Oscar Naranjo, admitted Tuesday that phones of Supreme Court magistrate Ivan Velasquez were unjustly wiretapped by police and prosecution investigators.
The illegal wiretap had been denounced by Prosecutor General on Monday and came just after the government’s announcement it will shut down the country’s intelligence agancy DAS for a number of scandals, including that of the illegal wiretapping of government critics and the same Supreme Court magistrate.
The denunciation comes two weeks before the transfer of the Colombian office of international police organization Interpol from the DAS to the Police. The DAS notified the Colombian government in May it did not want to cooperate any longer with the DAS, because of the service’s illegal activities.
The phones of velasquez, who is in charge of the investigations against congressmen with alleged ties to paramilitary death squads, were requested to be wiretapped as part of an investigation into kidnapping and exortion.
Naranjo immediately announced the Police will provide the Prosecutor General’s Office all relevant information needed for an investigation of the scandal.
“We are informing the Prosecutor General’s Office today, because … you can not justify having requested this [phone] number without the necessary authorization.
The illegal wiretapping already forced President Alvaro Uribe to shut down his intelligence agency. The Prosecutor General is investigating a number of high intelligence officials, including four former directors of the DAS, accused of illegal conduct.