Former President Alvaro Uribe defended former directors of intelligence agency DAS who have been at the center of scandals over wiretapping and paramilitary collusion in an interview with W Radio on Monday.
The Supreme Court last Wednesday sentenced Jose Noguera, whom Uribe appointed chief of the DAS in 2002, to 25 years in prison for links to paramilitaries and collusion with AUC assassins in the murder of academic Alfredo Correa de Andreis.
Uribe said “I can’t believe in my soul that Jose Noguera had anything to do with the murder of Correa de Andreis.”
Uribe also questioned the evidence against Noguera. He said, “there is not the bitter proof to come to that conclusion [that he was involved in the murder].”
Last week, Uribe publicly apologized after Noguera was sentenced, writing on Twitter, “I appointed Jorge Noguera for his resume and for his family, I trusted him, it hurts me if he had committed crimes and I apologize to the citizenry.”
Uribe also told W Radio, “the first time I heard talk of him [Correa] was when they gave me the news [of his death].
Last week Kien&Ke revealed Correa had written to Uribe asking for his help after being arrested by the DAS.
In the interview, Uribe also defended ex-DAS Director Maria del Pilar Hurtado, who is wanted on charges of criminal conspiracy, abuse of public office, illegal interception of communications, embezzlement, and forging of documents.
Uribe insisted del Pilar Hurtado did not order any illegal actions and has been caught up in a smear campaign to discredit his government orchestrated by “criminals,” guerrillas and extradited paramilitaries.
Del Pilar Hurtado fled Colombia in 2010 and is currently in Panama. Uribe added he supported her claim for asylum in Panama because there had been no guarantees for officials from his government.