Latin America & Caribbean

Aide to former Colombian president faces arrest

Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, 2002
Image caption Uribe employed Moreno as his chief of staff for eight years

A senior aide of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is facing criminal prosecution.

A judge has ordered the arrest of Mr Uribe's former chief of staff, Bernardo Moreno, for allegedly spying on judges, journalists and politicians.

It is the second such order this week. Andres Felipe Arias, a former agriculture minister, has been charged with corruption. He denies the allegations.

Alvaro Uribe left office last year.

Mr Moreno served as Mr Uribe's chief of staff for both of his presidential terms, from 2002-2010.

He now faces trial for criminal conspiracy, abuse of public office and other charges.

Mr Moreno would be jailed for at least three years, if convicted. He denies all the charges.

Mr Arias, 38, is suspected of diverting farm subsidies intended for peasant farmers to rich landowners.

He will be held at a jail in the capital Bogota while his case proceeds.

The Colombian Attorney General's office has already disqualified him from public office for 16 years because of what it deemed were irregularities in the subsidy scheme.

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