Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Monday denied having ordered the
wiretapping of opposition congressmen, Supreme Court magistrates and
journalists. He says he also is a victim of the growing scandal
involving the country’s intelligence service DAS.
Uribe, in a written statement to RCN Radio, said he was “deeply hurt” by what happened in the state intelligence agency and repeated the government position that those who performed illegal recordings of people critical of the government form “a mafia group that hurts the Colombian Democracy, freedom, the country and the government itself.”
The president vehimently denies being behind the illegal wiretaps. “I have never given a single order to monitor the private lives of individuals. I am a honest man who plays fair with his opponents and does not cheat. Those who know me know that I didn’t work in this way,”
The President refuses being interviewed about the matter, RCN says.
The DAS got involved in a huge scandal after weekly Semana Saturday revealed that investigators of the service were illegally wiretapping magistrates involved in the investigations of congressmen with ties to death squads, directors of media who are relatively critical of the Uribe administration and opposition lawmakers.
The service’s deputy counterintelligence director was sacked Sunday and DAS director Felipe Muñoz announced more heads would roll.
It is not the first time the DAS is involved in a scandal. The former director was forced to leave office less than half a year ago after the service was spying on opposition senator Gustavo Petro. Her predecessor is currently in jail for alleged ties to paramilitary death squads.