‘Colombian govt involved in illegal wiretaps’
In a special report on Tuesday Colombian news source CM& claimed to have access to documents proving that information collected through the surveillance and wiretapping of judges, journalists and politicians conducted by security agency DAS was passed on to members of the government.
The documents were obtained by the Prosecutor General’s Office and used to justify the arrest of five former DAS officials last Friday.
Among the documents is allegedly a file labeled “President Uribe,” which was used by the DAS officials to collate “documents of interest to the Colombian president.”
A second document allegedly shows evidence of the surveillance of journalist Holman Morris by the security agency, including an apparently illegally-obtained email written by Morris.
The final piece of evidence mentioned in CM&’s report documents the opinions and intentions of Supreme Court magistrates concerning the re-election referendum of President Alvaro Uribe.
The report is allegedly also labeled with the word “President” and documents which of the court’s magistrates were against the approval of a referendum that would allow for the potential re-election of Uribe to his third term as president.
In reference to the new evidence, the president of Colombia’s Supreme Court, Jaime Arrubla, said on Mondaythat “everything seemed to indicate” that the government had been directly involved in the wire-tapping of court magistrates, which he found “horrifying.”
Arrubla accused the Colombian government of a “conspiracy of the state against the court, a criminal action” and requested a full investigation of the aides of President Uribe who have been implicated in the scandal.
Speaking to national media, Gustavo Petro, the presidential candidate for political party Polo Democratico, also recommended that an investigation be opened into allegations against President Uribe.
“There is no doubt that the political responsibility lies with President Uribe,” said Petro, adding that the inspector general must conduct investigations, “proceeding according to his duty and showing his independence.”
A statement released by the Colombian government on Monday, however, denied all allegations of involvement in the wiretapping scandal, saying, “Following stories in the press related to the investigation carried out by the Prosecutor General’s Office about alleged illegal wiretaps, the Presidency of the Republic wishes to state that not one employee of the Casa de Nariño has met with officials to instruct or order the interception (of communication) or shadowing of magistrates, politicians or any person. All officials are willing to appear before the judicial bodies to ratify that the Casa de Nariño never has given instructions in this sense.”
New evidence collected will primarily be used to investigate charges against the scandal-ridden DAS for illegal wire-tapping and surveillance activities.
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