We were ordered to spy on Santos: Key witness in Zuluaga wiretapping case

Posted on May 20 2014 - 11:14pm by Today News
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An ex-campaign worker for presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga who filmed his former boss being briefed on allegedly illegally gained information claimed on Monday that he had been hired as part of a “cyber attack” team against President Juan Manuel Santos.

Spanish-national Rafael Revert worked with incarcerated hacker Andres Sepulveda as part of a team in Zuluaga’s campaign which was given “the task of leading a cyber attack on Santos,” Colombia’s incumbent president who is running for reelection, he told Blu Radio.

MORE: Santos accuses Zuluaga of running ‘criminal campaign’

Sepulveda was arrested after agents from the Prosecutor General’s technical investigation team (CTI) raided an apartment in the capital Bogota, where they discovered surveillance equipment allegedly used to intercept electronic communications about ongoing peace negotiations with rebel group FARC as well as information on Zuluaga’s primary opponent in the election race.

MORE: Zuluaga admits to having met Colombia peace talks hacker, denies involvement in wiretapping

According to Revert, he was contacted by the Zuluaga campaign who needed a computer security expert. After several Skype conversations, a financial settlement was made through David Zuluaga, the son of the candidate, leading Revert to fly to Colombia and begin work. 

“Sepulveda and I had a Skype conversation in which he was asking for a computer security expert with several years experience and who had worked in politics. In our second conversation we made a formal economic agreement and he paid for my flights,” Revert told Blu Radio.

“We had a meeting in the [cafe] Oma 93, on the terrace because it is a smoking area. [Sepulveda] explained that he worked for Zuluaga in his political campaign and wanted a security specialist to protect communications between David and Oscar Zuluaga, post information and to work (supposedly with social networking). Then he offered me a daily budget, an apartment, food and an extra budget for other important things. It was at that time that I accepted the contract.”

Reportedly once Revert had accepted the job Sepulveda explained that their work was to “know what was happening on ‘the island’, the name they gave the peace negotiations in Havana,” and is one of the key focuses of the video recorded by Revert.

MORE: Zuluaga’s lawyer insists wiretapping video was ‘manipulated and edited’

Such statements align with information found in the raid by the CTI and is further corroborated by Revert’s allegations that “Sepulveda created a program in which it was possible to sabotage President Juan Manuel Santos through social networks and spy on his personal communications.”

In the statement given, Revert also claims strong links between US organisations and the hacking team, stating that ”For two months we were working with the DEA and the Southern Command, which were ordering information on Havana…we sold information to the DEA about the guerrillas.”

According to Revert, he chose to record and hand over the video as he did not feel that methods being used were entirely legal. 

Revert has now become a key witness in the trial being conducted against Sepulveda.

Sources

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