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Colombia Investigating Lawmakers, Foreigners and Journalists Over Rebel Contacts


Colombia's chief prosecutor, Mario Iguaran, says he is investigating opposition politicians, journalists, and foreigners, for suspected rebel ties following information obtained from seized rebel computers earlier this year.

Iguaran says he has also asked the Colombian Supreme Court to investigate three lawmakers, including Senator Piedad Cordoba, who helped Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez broker the recent release of six rebel hostages.

The Colombian government has claimed that a laptop computer found in a March raid on a FARC rebel camp inside Ecuador contains information proving the guerrillas receive support from the governments of Venezuela and Ecuador. Both President Chavez and Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, deny the accusations. The FARC has rejected the Colombian government's claims.

Senator Cordoba has said her contacts with the FARC were efforts to mediate the release of rebel hostages.

The investigation was announced as Colombian President Alvaro Uribe attempts to grapple with scandals within his administration.

More than 30 members of Colombia's Congress, mainly Uribe allies, have been jailed or are under investigation for alleged links to right-wing paramilitary groups. The United States has designated the paramilitaries, along with the FARC and another leftist rebel group known as the ELN, as terrorist organizations.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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