Ex-Colombia president Uribe faces spying probe: court

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Bogota (AFP)

Colombia's Supreme Court on Tuesday announced it is opening an investigation into former president Alvaro Uribe in connection with illegal military spying on journalists and politicians.

A preliminary investigation has been opened against Uribe "as the possible recipient of information provided by illegal military intelligence surveillance in 2019," the Supreme Court said on Twitter.

The magazine Semana revealed in May the existence of a military intelligence network spying on around 130 journalists, politicians, retired soldiers and trade unionists.

One of the soldiers involved in the scandal told the magazine he had been ordered to pass on information collected on a magistrate to "a politician known to the Democratic Center," the ruling party led by Uribe, who was president from 2002 to 2010.

"Another preliminary investigation by an anonymous coward who says that I am the beneficiary of the reports," Uribe said on Twitter.

If evidence is found, the Supreme Court can launch a criminal trial against the former head of state, who is now a senator.

Among those allegedly targeted by the illegal surveillance were New York Times correspondent Nicholas Casey and Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director of the Americas division of Human Rights Watch.