Colombia's Supreme Court has ordered an investigation into former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez over his involvement in an illegal spying operation.
The court also convicted Jorge Noguera Cotes, the former director of Colombia's intelligence service agency DAS, for his role in the operation which allegedly wiretapped the court, human rights defenders and journalists.
The Supreme Court said in the ruling that it will send copies of the processes to the Committee of Accusations of the House of Representatives. If it finds merit in the preliminary court investigation, the committee will investigate former President Velez for the conduct referred to in the ruling.
Three of the four former intelligence chiefs of DAS, the now defunct-intelligence agency, are behind the bars in connection with the illegal spying operations. Noguera is serving a 25-year prison sentence for other crimes but has been pulled into the investigation for spying on the current House Representative Alirio Uribe and journalist Claudia Duque. His sentencing is expected to take three weeks.
The court found that Cotes and his immediate subordinates "designed and organized" the so-called G-3 spying unit in March 2003, which "under the guise of advancing strategic intelligence work, intercepted private communications with the entity’s teams and carried out passive and patrimonial spying, outside the law."
The court has also asked Cotes to pay compensation for moral harm to the people who were spied upon during the time period.
DAS was dismantled after President Santos came to power in 2011.