Ex-Colombia spy chief Maria del Pilar Hurtado jailed for 14 years

Former Colombian Chief of Intelligence Maria del Pilar Hurtado during a trial against her, in Bogota, ColombiaImage source, EPA
Image caption,
Maria del Pilar Hurtado fled Colombia in 2010 and was granted asylum in Panama

The former head of Colombia's secret police, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, has been jailed for 14 years for spying on politicians, judges and journalists.

The 51-year-old was in charge of the now-defunct Administrative Security Department (DAS), when the offences occurred between 2007 and 2008.

She was convicted of intercepting phone calls and abusing public office.

Those targeted were political opponents of Alvaro Uribe, who was president at the time.

Mr Uribe's former chief of staff, Bernardo Moreno, was given an eight-year sentence for his involvement, to be served at his home.

Colombia's Supreme Court has also called for Mr Uribe to be investigated for his role in the scandal.

He is now a senator and the head of a right-wing opposition party.

The former president tweeted that he would answer the court on Tuesday and that he was saddened to hear about the sentencing of his former aides.

Mr Uribe has denied any knowledge of the illegal intercepts.

The allegations were made public in 2010, after Mr Uribe left office.

Hurtado fled Colombia at the time and was granted asylum in Panama.

She turned herself over to the authorities in January after it was revoked.