Victims of an illegal wiretapping scandal involving Colombia’s former intelligence director Maria del Pilar Hurtado have asked the Panamanian government for her deportation, local media reported on Tuesday.
Colombian Senator Ivan Cepeda, alongside other victims of a wiretapping scandal orchestrated by Hurtado when she was head of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency, DAS, signed a joint letter calling on Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela to respect the Supreme Court’s decision in May that ruled the former spy chief’s asylum unconstitutional, according to Colombia’s Caracol Radio.
Cepeda was joined by Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro and journalist Daniel Coronell in signing the letter that ordered Panama to detain and deport Hurtado, so that she can appear before the Colombian courts, according to Caracol.
Speaking as a victim of the wiretapping scandal, Cepeda argued that Hurtado’s request for asylum did not meet the requirements according to Panama’s judicial law, evidenced by the Supreme Court ruling in May that declared unconstitutional the 2010 decision.
In addition, the letter stated that Panama’s irregular actions regarding Hurtado’s asylum have contributed to the violation of fundamental rights in Colombia, Caracol reported.
“There is no reason at this time that the government of Panama should not deport Ms. Hurtado to Colombia. We hope that President Varela will heed the call of those who were victims of criminal acts perpetuated by the DAS under the administration of Hurtado,” said Cepeda.
Additional signatures on the letter included former President of the Supreme Court Cesar Julio Valencia Copete, former Senator Piedad Cordoba, lawyer Ramiro Bejarano, journalist Hollman Morris, and Senator Alirio Uribe.
Hurtado, former director of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency, DAS, was granted asylum in Panama in 2010 by President Varela. She is wanted in Colombia for crimes surrounding her participation in the illegal interception and monitoring of journalists, judges, congressmen, and human rights defenders that occurred during the administration of President Alvaro Uribe.
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