President Alvaro Uribe’s private secretary and the former director of Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS ordered the illegal wiretapping of government critics, a former intelligence director of the DAS told investigators.
According to several Colombian media, former DAS intelligence director Fernando Alonso Tabares testified that he was ordered to keep an eye on Supreme Court judges, opposition politicians and journalists in a private lunch he had with Uribe’s secretary Bernardo Moreno and DAS director Maria del Pilar Hurtado in September 2007.
Moreno told Tabares that the president wanted to be informed on the activities of a number of Supreme Court magistrates, opposition senators Piedad Cordoba and Gustavo Petro and journalist like Daniel Coronell, the former intelligence chief told investigators of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The Prosecutor General’s Office is considering turning Tabares and three other suspects into material witnesses against higher intelligence and government officials.
The now resigned Moreno is set to be interrogated for his alleged share in the wiretap scandal next week.
The wiretap scandal became public in 2009 and caused outrage among magistrates, press, opposition politicians and human rights workers. Uribe was forced to dismantle the DAS, Interpol transfered its cooperation with Colombian authorities to the National Police and the U.S. Congress ordered that neither the DAS nor its successor are allowed to receive any financial aid from the U.S. government.