Corruption in Ecuador: Rafael Correa lost the last instance in Justice and will not be a candidate for vice

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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.

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

Correa and Jorge Glas are authors of instigation to commit the crime of bribery in the Bribery case. This was ratified the afternoon by the Court of Cassation of the National Court of Justice of Ecuador, ultimately judicial.

When the sentence is final, the guilty can initiate a constitutional action in the Constitutional Courtl, but this can take up to several months to deal with the case, while the convicted must already comply with the provisions of the courts. Even the justice system must try to ensure that those who are abroad are brought into the country with organizations like Interpol.

The lawyer and constitutionalist, Ramiro Aguilar, told The Associated Press that when the conviction is final “for the same time of the sentence, all those sentenced are disqualified from holding public office”.

Ecuador faces a process that will end with the election of the president and assembly members in a general election scheduled for February 2021.

Former President Correa (2007-2017) later wrote on his Twitter account that “They finally made it. In record time they draw a final sentence to disqualify me as a candidate. They don’t understand that all they do is increase popular support. ”

Fifty of his supporters gathered before the National Court with flags and banners. Correa has lived in Belgium since mid-2017, when he left power in the hands of his party partner and friend Lenín Moreno, from whom he distanced himself almost immediately in the middle of a bitter public dispute.

The case began through a journalistic investigation in May of last year, which led to a judicial process in which nine high-ranking public officials and ten businessmen were involved and demanded about eight million dollars between 2012 and 2016 in exchange for large public infrastructure works. These funds were used to finance political campaigns of the governing party Alianza País.

The Central University professor, Fernando Borja, told AP that after the formalities “the condemned will have to go to jail and those who are abroad may be extradited, ” while specifying that the crime for which they were tried does not prescribe and as long as they do not comply with the sentence, the sentence will remain pending.

The situation disables Correa from running for vice-presidency, as the Democratic Center party had announced, and even to be a candidate for assembly by European migrants.

Of the ten former public officials prosecuted, six are at large, among others, Correa, the former Secretary of the Administration, Vinicio Alvarado; the former Minister of Transportation, Wálter Solís and the former Minister of Urban Development and Housing, María de los Angeles Duarte, who is inside the residence of the Argentine ambassador in Quito.

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.

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