Uribe to visit Panama

Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe plans to visit Panama Thursday to take part in a business conference, days after the country controversially granted political asylum to a former spy chief implicated in the wiretap scandal.

Panama’s decision this week to grant political asylum to Maria del Pilar Hurtado, a former director of Colombia’s intelligence service DAS, who is under investigation for the illegal wiretapping of opponents of former President Alvaro Uribe, led to speculation that Uribe’s closest aides are fleeing abroad to avoid incriminating their former boss.

Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli, with whom Uribe is on friendly terms, will also speak at the event, reports EFE. The conference was organized by the National Secretariat for Science and Technology, along with the INCAE business school, and its theme is “Trust: Synergy between the state and the private sector” and will take place in the Sheraton Hotel in Panama City, reported Caracol Radio.

Martinelli on Sunday rejected criticism of his country’s “sovereign” decision to grant asylum to Hurtado.

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