Former Colombia presidential candidate off the hook in electoral spying scandal

Former Colombia presidential candidate off the hook in electoral spying scandal

Former Colombia presidential candidate off the hook in electoral spying scandal

Colombia’s authorities dropped criminal charges against Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, the conservative candidate in Colombia’s 2014 presidential election that are now marred with mutual spying allegations.Zuluaga had been under investigation after he was seen on film being briefed by convicted political hacker Andres Sepulveda, who wiretapped the peace talks between Colombia’s government and the FARC rebels in Cuba but has now been acquitted.The video was shot by a colleague of Sepulveda, who is accused of being a double agent spying on the opposition after he reported illegal spying on peace talks allegedly carried out by the Zuluaga campaign.Colombia’s state intelligence agency ‘spied on opposition campaign’ during 2014 electionsThe mutual spying scandal became the main issue ahead of the presidential election that saw Zuluaga win the first round and President Juan Manuel Santos the second.The Prosecutor General’s Office took the decision “in the face of the absence of motives or factual evidence that even allow reasonable inferring that the actions of Zuluaga may have any characteristics of crime.”The only evidence of involvement in the spying came from the video shot by the alleged double agent of Zuluaga’s meeting with Sepulveda, who was hired by campaign manager Luis Alfonso Hoyos, an ex-minister.“The hiring of Sepulveda can not be attributed to Zuluaga,” read the prosecution’s statement.In response to the decision, Zuluaga slammed what he considered to be an under handed plot to destroy his presidential campaign by the then Prosecutor General Eduardo Monteleagre who initiated the criminal investigation three weeks before the first presidential round in May 2014.Montealegre’s name has been mentioned in the criminal investigation of the alleged counterintelligence operation.We hope that the truth is known before the recent complaint that I filed with the Prosecutor’s Office, where we demonstrated the criminalization of my campaign, which had as a purpose to infiltrate it in order to prevent me from winning the presidency. There is no record in the country’s democratic history of anything so serious.”Oscar Ivan ZuluagaThe former Democratic Center candidate’s representative Federico Hoyos said that justice was done. “Zuluaga is an honorable and correct man. I am happy for him and his family,” Hoyos, not related to the campaign manager with the same name, was quoted as saying by El Colombiano paper.Santos accuses Zuluaga of running ‘criminal campaign’The preliminary investigation against the then presidential candidate began because Sepulveda said that the activities undertaken in his office were ordered by Zuluaga, his son David Zuluaga and the campaign manager.The Prosecutor General is however going to continue with the preliminary inquiry against David Zuluaga and Hoyos, the so-called “spiritual adviser” of the campaign.Opposition party president leaves Colombia claiming imminent arrestZuluaga and his Democratic Center recen…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>