Four of the eight Colombians arrested by Venezuela on espionage charges were released on Friday, after a judge found there was not enough evidence to take them to trial.
According to Colombian radio station Caracol, the four were expelled from Venezulea following their release.
The eight Colombians, all members of the same family, were arrested on March 29 in Venezuela after Canadian-Colombian doctor Luis Carlos Cossio took a photo of a military telecommunications tower.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had publicly announced the Colombians were involved in spying activities.
The country’s Ombudsman on Friday defended the arrest and denied charges by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe that the eight were tourists.
“They had photos of bridges, fuel tanks, officials of the National Guard, electrcitiy and communication towers,” Ombudsman Gabriela Ramirez told Venezuelan State television. “It is strange that they had been passing through the Anzoategui state and had taken photos of these installations and did not have any of the beaches and touristic lanscapes,” she added.
According to the released Colombians, they had been not been mistreated by Venezuelan authorities.
The remaining “spies” are expected to be released shortly.