Colombia scraps scandal-hit agency

Intelligence agents accused of illegally eavesdropping on government critics.

    Uribe has denied that his government ordered
    the suriveillance of its critics [File: AFP]

    A bill will be presented to congress next week proposing the end of the DAS and outlining the structure of the new intelligence agency, according to the statement.

    Agents transferred

    Munoz said that the majority of the current agency's 6,000 employees would be transferred to the criminal investigative unit of the police and other investigative bodies.

    in video

      Video: Colombia's spy scandal

    The move could help restart a trade agreement with the US which has been blocked by Democrat congressmen over accusations that local union leaders face persecution in Colombia.

    The government of Alvaro Uribe, the Colombian president, has repeatedly denied ordering the controversial phone tapping. 

    Margaret Sekaggya, UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders, demanded earlier on Friday that the DAS stop its illegal monitoring of activists, which apparently continued even after the scandal emerged.

    She said the surveillance has been used to trump up false charges against rights workers, who are sometimes accused by government officials of supporting the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

    A number of other former DAS agents are being investigated for allegedly taking bribes to provide paramilitary groups with hit lists.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.