Colombia’s chief prosecutor said Thursday he has called in the country’s police chief and two other top police officials for questioning over the wiretapping of journalists by the National Police.
Police commander General Rodolfo Palomino, Brigadier General Jorge Luis Vargas of the Police’s Intelligence unit and Brigadier General William Rene Salamanca of Protection and Special Services unit will all have to explain what they know about the alleged wiretapping, shadowing and intimidating of journalists.
“We have serious indications that these shadowing practices, these wiretaps and the intimidation comes from the National Police,” said Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre, confirming journalists who have published evidence of the National Police headquarters’ involvement.
The journalists who have reported the alleged illegal practices were all investigating alleged corruption and sexual misconduct within the institution.
Palomino has been accused of having solicited sex to a male subordinate an official event and ripping off colleagues in dodgy land deals.
A colonel at the police school in the capital Bogota is accused of having integrated hundreds of cadets in a gay prostitution ring that catered to other top officials.
According to Montealegre, his office has so far failed to find any evidence Palomino is directly involved in the illegal spying and intimidation practices that seemed to seek to prevent aforementioned scandals from going public.
“What we are trying to establish is who [is carrying out the alleged crimes] inside the National Police,” the chief prosecutor told press.
While the prosecution is investigating the alleged stalking of journalists, President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday announced a high-level commission to investigate the alleged sexual misconduct and other possible cases of improper conduct and corruption within the National Police.
While the watershed of scandals has made the position of Palomino virtually untenable, the police chief has refused to hand in his resignation.
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