Colombian Ex-Prosecutor Convicted for Illegal Interceptions

A former Colombian prosecutor has been convicted for allegedly intercepting conversations of individuals not connected to or involved in criminal proceedings, including his own wife, according to the Attorney General's Office.

Phone FraudThe former prosecutor illegally used his official position to intercept three people. (Photo: PxHere, License)In March 2018, Martínez Lugo instructed an investigative officer to intercept the communications of the liquidator of a meatpacking plant, a former director of an investment fund, and the Lugo’s wife, claiming that this would accelerate an investigation related to a disappearance.

Lugo then made the officer sign a report containing false information to justify the urgency and necessity of intercepting the telephone lines in an attempt to conceal the irregularity.

The individuals who were subjected to wiretapping had no connection to the case.

A court sentenced Lugo to five years in prison for procedural fraud, falsification of public documents, prevarication by action, and illicit violation of communications. Additionally, he will be prohibited from holding any public office and will be required to pay a fine equal to 197 Colombian monthly minimum wages, which is approximately equivalent to US$54,200.

This conviction doesn’t seem to be the first mischief in the former prosecutor's judicial history. While in public service, he allegedly exploited his position to offer interception services to others and gain financial benefits in exchange.

He allegedly ordered the interception of a leader of an Avianca airline syndicate and negotiators between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo), which was the largest guerrilla group in Colombia at the time.

The Prosecutor's Office stated in 2022 that Lugo "misused his position” to unlawfully conspire with other officials and individuals to obtain private and corporate information, which was subsequently commercialized to third parties.