President Alvaro Uribe accepted the resignation of Colombia's secret police chief and fired the agency's No. 2 figure amid reports of bitter infighting between the two.
Jorge Noguera, director of the secret police known as the DAS, told reporters that Uribe "was very angry about this situation and after speaking with him, I presented my resignation."
An Uribe spokesman, speaking Tuesday on customary condition of anonymity, confirmed the president had accepted Noguera's resignation and dismissed the DAS' deputy director, Jose Miguel Narvaez, but declined to discuss the reasons behind the decision.
Colombian daily El Tiempo reported Tuesday that Narvaez was involved in a plan to make it look like the DAS was going to sell intelligence to Colombia's outlawed far-right paramilitary militias as part of a campaign to ensnare Noguera in a scandal.
Uribe "is aware ... of these montages that were being prepared within the institution," Noguera said. Narvaez could not be reached for comment.
The DAS has been hit by a string of other scandals recently, including alleged misappropriation of funds and accusations that a regional DAS chief in northwest Colombia had fabricated a plot to assassinate Uribe in order to take credit for foiling the attack.
Colombia is embroiled in a drug-fueled civil war that pits two leftist rebel armies against the paramilitary factions and government forces, killing more than 3,000 people every year, AP reports.
If one assumes that the two people who gave the interview indeed work for Russian special services, then they acted very unprofessionally and risky