Corruption in Ecuador: Rafael Correa faces the last legal instance, which will define his political future

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The former Head of State was sentenced in the first and second instances to eight years in prison and political disqualification after being convicted of the crime of bribery. If the court of cassation endorses the trials, he may not be a candidate for vice president.

The former president of Ecuador Rafael Correa faces the last legal instance in his country, where a court of cassation will announce the final sentence in the so-called “Bribery 2012-2016” case. on which their political aspirations depend.

The former Head of State was sentenced this year in first and second instances to eight years in prison and political disqualification after being found guilty of the crime of bribery.

The oral resolution of the court of cassation that, in addition to Correa, involves fifteen other convicted persons, will be known in the Ecuadorian capital.

This was determined last Friday after the deliberation of the judges who presided over the cassation hearings that began on Thursday.

The “Bribery” case is about an alleged corruption network through which “undue contributions” were allegedly received in the Carondelet presidential palace for the irregular financing of the ruling political movement Alianza País a change of awarding millionaire contracts from the State to companies, including Odebrecht.

During the cassation hearing, the State Attorney General, Diana Salazar, explained that the cassation appeal is technical, and there is a prohibition to reexamine the facts of the Court and reassess the evidence.

On the second and last day of those hearings, Correa intervened, via telematics from Belgium, where he has resided since he left power in 2017.

“I have never allowed a bribe, it is a political persecutionThey are destroying families for persecuting me, “said the former president, accused as the alleged perpetrator of the crime of bribery.

The cassation appeal is the last instance in Ecuador presented by the 16 sentenced persons who, in addition, will define the electoral future of Correa, since after this legal procedure the sentences of the first and second instances would be executed.

To ratify the court that there were no irregularities in due process, Correa will not be able participate in the political life of his country, which is preparing to appoint in 2021 the successor of the ruler Lenín Moreno, and to renew the National Assembly.

In a live telematic broadcast from Belgium Correa said last week accept his candidacy for the Vice Presidency, at the same time that his sister and legal representative tried to register the process in the offices of the CNE in Ecuador.

At the closing of the acceptance of the pre-candidatures, the CNE had 16 registered presidential candidates and 15 vice-presidential because, according to a 2012 amendment, it must be done in a “very personal” way.

If the Council were to accept his nomination, which seems unlikely at this point, Correa would enjoy temporary immunity, and it would depend only on the judgment of cassation that will be known this Monday.

Correa and his current political movement, the Citizen Revolution, accuse the Ecuadorian Justice of a supposed “politicization” and to act under the influence of the government led by Moreno, who was its vice president and fellow member, but who became one of its staunch critics.

The former Head of State (2007-2017) calls “traitor” to Moreno and he assures that, through the presidential and legislative elections on February 7, they will be able to “recover the homeland.”

“It is evident that everything is to disable me. The reality is that they are undeservedly immortalizing me. The pain is for decent people – public officials and businessmen – who destroy for harming me. So much infamy will not pass the judgment of history,” Correa wrote this Monday on Twitter.

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