Panama’s Supreme Court denies final appeal from Colombia’s ex-spy chief

Posted on Jul 10 2014 - 6:43pm by Today News
Maria del Pilar Hurtado  (Photo: El Tiempo)

Panama’s Supreme Court denied a final appeal presented by Maria del Pilar Hurtado, ex-director of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency, DAS, who attempted to maintain her asylum in Panama, local media reported on Thursday.

As the Court has officially denied the last appeal to continue Hurtado’s asylum in Panama as a political refugee, her remaining time in Panama is limited as she could be detained at any moment. Authorities in Panama are charged with organizing her deportation to Colombia to face trial for her involvement in a wiretapping scandal during her tenure as DAS director.

MORE: DAS wiretapping scandal

Echoing their decision in May, the Court said again that Hurtado’s asylum was unconstitutional, and that the decisions from the group were final, Bogota’s RCN Radio reported.

“This plenary warns that any petition presented that is not framed within the cited rules constitutes a diversion from these set purposes, so to be served, they would deny the decisions of the Supreme Court, which is characterized by being final, definitive, and mandatory,” a statement from Panama’s highest court on the official webpage read.

MORE: Colombia’s former spy-chief to officially lose asylum in Panama, may be deported immediately

The Court sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry of Colombia on Wednesday afternoon informing them of Hurtado’s situation, Bogota’s La FM radio reported.

Hurtado has resided in Panama since 2010 when Panama’s President Varela granted her political asylum. She is wanted in Colombia for crimes regarding her leadership in the illegal monitoring of journalists, judges, congressmen, and human rights defenders that occurred during the administration of President Alvaro Uribe.

Victims of the wiretapping scandal, including Colombian Senator Ivan Cepeda, asked the Panamanian government for her deportation earlier this month.

MORE: Victims of wiretapping scandal call for deportation of Colombia’s ex-spy chief from Panama


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