Panama extradites fugitive spy chief to Colombia

Maria del Pilar Hurtado to face charges of illegally wiretapping calls of opponents of former president Alvaro Uribe.

    Hurtada is accused of illegal wiretaps on opponents of former President Alvaro Uribe [EPA]
    Hurtada is accused of illegal wiretaps on opponents of former President Alvaro Uribe [EPA]

    Panama has extradited Colombia's former spy chief to face charges of illegally wiretapping calls of opponents of former President Alvaro Uribe.

    Maria del Pilar Hurtado was ferried from Panama to the Colombian capital on a pre-dawn flight on Saturday, where she was taken to the chief prosecutor's office to await arraignment.

    "She has been at the headquarters of the prosecutor's office since 5 am," a Colombian government source told the AFP news agency.

    Hurtado was the top official at the now-defunct Administrative Department of Security (DAS), the national intelligence agency from 2002-2010, when former President Alvaro Uribe was in office.

    She is accused of having ordered illegal wiretaps on politicians, journalists, human rights defenders and other perceived political enemies of Uribe.

    Uribe took to Twitter on Saturday to denounce what he called "political torture" against Hurtado.

    Dozens of DAS officials have already been convicted for illegal spying and providing assistance to right-wing paramilitary death squads.

    Hurtado fled the country in 2010 and was granted asylum in Panama, but surrendered to Colombian authorities after Interpol on Friday issued an order for her arrest.

    Interpol's arrest order charges her with numerous offenses, including aggravated criminal conspiracy and abuse of public office.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    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.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.