Jorge Noguera, the former head of Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS on trial for alleged ties to paramilitary death squads, told the court Monday that the former government of Alvaro Uribe wants him to be convicted so pressure on the former President will go away.
“The government in some way agrees to condemn me and suddenly the government thinks that with this ends all of the persecution against the Uribe government,” said the former DAS chief who was appointed by Uribe when taking office in 2002.
Noguera is being charged in multiple cases involving the disgraced intelligence agency DAS which he directed from 2002 until 2005. He is accused of allowing paramilitaries to infiltrate the agency and allegedly ordering the murders of a Barranquilla professor, a union member and former congressman. The official is also accused of being involved in the illegal wiretapping of political opposition members, human rights activists and magistrates during the administration of Alvaro Uribe.
In February 2010 the ex-DAS head told the Supreme Court that Uribe had been aware of the agency’s surveillance of suspected anti-governmental activity, whereas the Colombian government has denied knowledge of the DAS’s specific operations.
A congressional investigation of possible involvement by the former president in the wiretap scandal is underway, while Uribe’s former chief of staff, Bernardo Moreno, and Noguera’s successor former DAS director, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, have been formally charged in the matter.
On June 10, a Colombian court handed down the decision that intelligence agency DAS made an alliance with the Northern bloc of the AUC to murder college professor Alfredo Correa de Andreis who they suspected of being a FARC conspirator in 2004, the first ruling that directly linked the intelligence agency to paramilitary groups.