Former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, currently being investigated for illegal wire-tapping, was on Tuesday nominated to the board of media giant News Corp, whose UK tabloid News of the World was last year shut down over a phone-hacking scandal.
Uribe was nominated for approval at the meeting along with former U.S. Labor Secretary, Elaine Chao, to replace two directors who plan to step down following the event.
The former president is currently being investigated in relation to the illegal wiretapping of human rights activists, journalists, Supreme Court magistrates and politicians, while his former chief of staff is in jail awaiting trial for the offenses, and his former secret police chief fled the country before charges were filed.
At Tuesday’s News Corp board meeting, increased pressure was put on media tycoon Rupert Murdoch to step down as chairman due to his handling of last year’s phone-hacking scandal in the UK when News Corp’s London-based tabloid, News of the World, was embroiled in a high profile phone-hacking scandal, resulting in around 50 arrests and criminal charges against eight of the tabloid’s editors and journalists.
Uribe’s nomination was announced in September when Murdoch called him “a transformative figure who saved his country’s democratic institutions, revitalized its economy and restored the security of its people” and would “provide important insights into Latin America for our directors.”
In 2009 Claudia Duque, an investigative journalist for Colombia‘s Radio Nizkor, discovered a memorandum which confirmed that threats she had received including one to kill, rape and torture her then 10-year-old daughter, “scattering her fingers around the house,” were by the secret police (DAS) who reported directly to then President Alvaro Uribe.
Duque has been calling for Uribe to be “convicted for the illegal persecution he led against more than 300 people in Colombia. As a journalist, I will continue working to make people aware about the real dimensions of the espionage and its consequences for Colombia’s democracy,” said the reporter.
Murdoch and Uribe are both avid users of Twitter which has got them both in trouble – Murdoch with the celebrities whose phones were hacked by his journalists, and Uribe with a journalist whose phone was wire-tapped by his secret service agents.
On Saturday Murdoch called the victims of his media empire’s phone-hacking “scumbag celebrities” prompting outrage from all sides.
Told UK’s Cameron receiving scumbag celebrities pushing for even more privacy laws.Trust the toffs!Transparency under attack. Bad.
— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) October 13, 2012
While in 2010 Colombian journalist Daniel Coronell announced he was suing the country’s former president and his two sons for slander after the Uribe family used Twitter to accuse the journalist of “laundering mafia money with slander.”
Un Coronel periodista lava dinero de mafia con calumnia
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) December 19, 2010