The Superior Court of Bogota has denied an appeal to cancel the passport of Maria del Pilar Hurtado, the ex-director of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency DAS, national media reported in Wednesday.
Bogota’s Superior Court upheld Monday’s decision to deny the Prosecutor General’s request to cancel the passport of the former intelligence director living in Colombia’s northern neighbor of Panama, Colombia’s Caracol Radio reported.
The judges found no validity in the new arguments from the delegated prosecutor presented. The judge, Armando Fletcher, stated that canceling the passport would violate a fundamental right because it is the only document that can identify a Colombian abroad, Caracol Radio reported.
He also said that there are other mechanisms by which the authorities can enforce the arrest warrant for Hurtado and make her present herself to the authorities.
So far the government of Panama has not been notified by Colombia’s Supreme Court of an error that could remove the political asylum of the former spy chief.
The country’s most infamous wiretapping scandal unfolded under Hurtado in 2008, after opposition politicians, media and authorities discovered that Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency, the DAS, had been spying on the Supreme Court, journalists, human rights defenders and politicians.
The disgraced intelligence director fled Colombia in 2010 before an arrest warrant could be brought against her for conspiracy, illegal interception of communication, abuse of public power, and fraud.
FACT SHEET: DAS wiretapping scandal
Del Pilar Hurtado received political asylum in Panama in November 2010 after claiming she had fallen victim to political persecution, and she has been residing in the country ever since.