Uribe allies convicted of spying

By bogotapost March 6, 2015
Photo: Fiscalía press office

Maria del Pilar Hurtado being led away from the court house by police officers. Photo: Fiscalía press office

Former spy chief, Álvaro Uribe’s chief of staff found guilty of spying on judges, politicians and journalist

On Friday February 27 the Supreme Court convicted the former head of Colombia’s now-defunct spy agency, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, along with an aide to ex-President Álvaro Uribe, on charges of illegally spying on judges, journalists, human rights activists and politicians.

Ms. Hurtado and ex-chief of staff Bernardo Moreno were convicted of spying between 2007-2008, while Uribe was Colombian President.

Hurtado fled the country two years ago and was granted temporary asylum in Panama. Her asylum expired earlier this year, and she turned herself over to Colombian authorities.

Both Hurtado and Moreno now face more than ten years in prison. The Supreme Court said their sentences will be handed down in 15 days, according to local media reports.

Hurtado has been remanded in custody pending sentencing while Moreno has been released on bail, the BBC reported.

On Saturday Uribe said he felt “overcome with grief” upon hearing the news that two senior figures in his administration were found guilty.

He took to Twitter to sneer at the prosecution in the case, calling them the “FARC Lawyers Collective,” according to a report in the Nuevo Heraldo newspaper.

The illegal wiretapping network targeted dozens of real or perceived opponents of Uribe’s hardline government, reports said.

But the former president has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the activities.

Uribe says that the accusations against him and his inner circle are part of a wider conspiracy of political persecution.

By Mark Kennedy