Information retrieved from illegal wiretapping of Colombia’s supreme court, NGOs, journalists and politicians was meant for then-President Alvaro Uribe, a key witness in the case against Uribe’s former chief of staff told prosecutors.
According to William Romero, the former Human Sources chief of the now-defunct intelligence agency DAS, his former employer spied on the Supreme Court justices, human rights NGOs, journalists and political opponents who “interrupted the governance of Uribe.”
According to the government witness, who was in charge of the spies working for the DAS, he met several times with fugitive former DAS director Maria del Pilar Hurtado.
The first of that meeting was “to give me feedback on the knowledge President Alvaro Uribe had regarding one of these reports. This made Mrs. Maria del Pilar Hurtado very happy … consequently she ordered to congratulate the team and ordered to financially reward Human Sources,” radio station LA FM quotes the witness as saying.
“The former president knew there existed an order of [former DAS director] Andres Peñate to collect information on political targets, high courts, Congress and international NGOs who interrupted the governance of of President Alvaro Uribe Velez,” the former spy executive testified.
Romero additionally revealed that the spy agency had an informant inside Congress too, something which hadn’t been affirmed by any other witnesses.
Uribe has officially been under investigation for the illegal wiretapping since 2010. Nevertheless, he has only appeared once before the Congress commission investigating him. Others who are under criminal investigation are three former DAS directors, a number of DAS department chiefs, and Uribe’s former chief of staff, personal adviser and press secretary.
The former president has categorically denied having known about the illegal wiretaps, claiming these were carried out “behind his back.”