Pérez and Garuz remain in custody


Former Security Council general secretaries Gustavo Pérez and Alejandro Garuz remain in custody today after undergoing questoining yesterday by prosecutors over alleged illegal surveillance conducted by the agency during the administration of former President Ricardo Martinellli.

They are charged with violating laws regarding secrecy and the right to privacy.

For the second consecutive day, Pérez was transferred under heavy security measures yesterday from the headquarters of the Department of Judicial Investigation in Ancón to the prosecutor's office in Calidonia.

He arrived shortly after 8 a.m. and was escorted by six members of the department.

The interview lasted until 1 p.m., and Pérez was immediately taken back to his cell without making any comments to the media.

His lawyer, Armando Fuentes, said his client told the prosecutor "everything he knows" and questioned the handling of the case, saying he should not be detained. He also noted that his client is not directly related to the case.

"We are going to request a copy of his statement, the document ordering pre-trial detention and the evidence that the prosecution is planning to present before the court," he stressed.

At 2:30 p.m., Garuz was taken to the office for questioning, also under heavy guard.

While he was being questioned, his attorney, Cristóbal Arboleda, was presenting a claim of habeas corpus before the Supreme Court, which will have 48 hours to respond.

The interview ended at 10:20 p.m. after almost eight hours of questioning.

Arboleda said the pre-trial detention of his client "is absolutely illegal and unjustified," and that he has asked the court to "review the fundamentals and the legality of the decision of the prosecutor".

The pair are accused of using surveillance equipment the government purchased from an Israeli contractor to illegally intercept phone calls, e-mails and other electronic communications of opposition politicians and others during the Martinelli administration. Prosecutors have said there are 150 victims of the illegal surveillance.



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