Aides under former President Uribe convicted for orchestrating spying ring in Colombia

Colombia’s Supreme Court has convicted two close aides of former President Alvaro Uribe for organizing a spying ring that illegally intercepted the communications of some of the conservative leader’s top opponents.

Maria del Pilar Hurtado, the former head of Colombia’s intelligence agency, and Bernardo Moreno, Uribe’s chief of staff, could face more than 10 years in jail.

Hurtado last month turned herself over to authorities in Panama, where she fled in 2010, and was sent home amid promises she would receive leniency if she told prosecutors who ordered the wiretaps.

She has not implicated Uribe, and the former president has denied knowing that journalists, politicians and Supreme Court justices were being watched. He has said the two aides are victims of a campaign of political persecution mounted by his successor.

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