Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Tuesday called the issuance of an arrest warrant for government official Mario Aranguren an “injustice” that causes a “lack of confidence” in the country’s justice system, reported EFE.
Aranguren, who is the director of the Colombian government’s Financial Information and Analysis Unit (UIAF), is due to be charged for his suspected involvement in the illegal wiretappings undertaken by the country’s security agency DAS.
Speaking on a television show in Cali, the president said that although he generally has complete trust in Colombia’s judicial system, cases such as the arrest of the government official risk causing “a tremendous lack of confidence.”
“Just yesterday a judge released six henchmen of a criminal gang and in the same moment they were taking Mario Aranguren to prison, an injustice,” said the president.
Uribe has been adamant in his defense of the UIAF director, last year rejecting Aranguren’s attempted resignation, due to his “outstanding” performance as head of the government unit.
The president suggested that there may be other interests being served through the issue of the warrant.
“It detracts from the Colombian justice system, they are showing that these [DAS] officers have no guarantees, that what exists is a spirit of pursuing honest people that do not steal, who look after the state and they put them in jail for completing their duty.”
In February Colombia’s Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez announced that Aranguren was suspected of instructing officials from UIAF to attend a meeting on April 24, 2008, where “restricted information was supplied,” to President Alvaro Uribe’s personal secretary Bernardo Moreno.
This forms part of an ongoing investigation of illegal surveillance and wiretapping activity of judges, journalists and trade unionists undertaken by the DAS.