Colombian judicial authorities have called a police colonel to respond to accusations he was involved in the illegal wiretapping of journalists, local media reported Tuesday.
The criminal investigation followed accusations made by two journalists of a national radio station in October. The two journalists, Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazabal y Hernan Pelaez of Caracol Radio, informed President Juan Manuel Santos about the alleged wiretapping.
Gardeazabal told newspaper El Espectador then that he had been notified of the illegal practice by a “high official who didn’t want to be a part of this, [who] doesn’t agree that the constitution is violated, as happened under the past administration” of Alvaro Uribe, whose then-chief of staff is currently in jail and his former intelligence chief fled to Panama over investigations into the illegal wiretapping and shadowing of Supreme Court justices, journalists, human rights workers and opposition politicians.
The journalist said he wouldn’t press charges, as “this is a problem of President Santos who supposedly is concerned” about the case.
The investigated colonel is Juan Carlos Nieto, who was transferred from the Ministry of Defense to the police’s National Intelligence Agency ANI after the dismantling of former intelligence agency DAS. Colombia’s former spy agency had fallen from grace over the illegal wiretapping scandal and other criminal activities carried out by top officials that collaborated with now-demobilized paramilitary organization AUC.
NEWS ARCHIVE: Wiretap scandal
The investigation of Nieto is the second high-profile investigation against a top official of the agency that has existed for less than a year and a half; Admiral Alvaro Echandia, the agency’s director, is being investigated by the Inspector General’s Office for the alleged conspiracy to tie a then-fellow admiral to drug trafficking.
- Por seguir a periodistas de La Luciérnaga citan a interrogatorio a coronel (El Espectador)
- ¿El regreso de las chuzadas? (El Espectador)