Colombian wiretap scandal moves closer to Uribe
Web posted at: 4/14/2010 1:36:44
Source ::: REUTERS
BOGOTA: Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said yesterday that a widening wiretap scandal, in which five former intelligence officers were arrested, is being orchestrated to damage his image before May’s election.
Uribe, a conservative barred by the constitution from seeking a third term, remains popular despite a series of scandals involving state security forces accused of violating rights. His former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos leads the opinion polls ahead of the May 30 presidential vote.
One of five former agents arrested over the weekend for wiretapping judges, reporters and opposition politicians said that the program of illegally listening in on telephone conversations was directed from the presidential palace.
Uribe denies the charge, which is being investigated by the attorney general’s office. “What a coincidence that this is happening during an election campaign,” Uribe told a local radio station.
Supreme Court Justice Cesar Valencia, whose telephone was tapped, says the bugging was ordered from high levels. “It was a criminal enterprise directed by the presidential palace,” he told El Tiempo newspaper.
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