On August 8, Daniella Camacho, judge of the National Court of Justice, issued preventive detention order for the former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, due to his alleged involvement in a bribery case. Correa’s defense lawyer, Fausto Jarrín, rejected court’s decision and said that he would appeal the order on Monday, August 12.
Correa and twenty members of his party PAIS Alliance are being investigated under the “Bribes 2012-2016” case, an alleged corruption case, according to which national as well as international companies such as Odebrecht financed the electoral campaigns of the PAIS Alliance in exchange for state contracts.
On August 7, Attorney General Diana Salazar accused Correa of leading the corruption scheme and receiving illegal contributions from private companies. She provided as proof a deposit of 6,000 USD to Correa’s personal account and requested his preventive detention.
Correa criticized these accusations, emphasizing their absurdity and explained the origin of the money questioned by the judicial organization on his twitter account. “I had a recurring overdraft, and I borrowed 6,000 USD from the solidarity fund we had at the presidency (made up of our own contributions) and I paid it back to the last penny (I have monthly checks of 500 USD). Don’t be ridiculous!” he tweeted along with the pictures of checks.
Various renowned personalities criticized the Attorney General’s accusations. “They have found nothing and their despair is evident. They make so many mistakes, shamelessly tamper with justice, and present a clumsy and hasty persecution. After the surrealism of an attack that surprises as it is so pathetic, we must have one certainty: the dawn is near,” said former Ecuadorian foreign minister, Guillaume Long.
The same order was passed against former vice president Jorge Glas, who is already serving a six-year sentence for supposedly taking bribes in the Odebrecht case in Ecuador, as well as against former ministers Vinicio Alvarado and Walter Soliz and Correa’s former legal adviser Yamil Massuh.
In addition, the judge requested that Interpol be notified to capture former officials who are outside the country. Correa’s lawyer Jarrín said that the request to Interpol for his arrest would definitely be rejected as the charge is against a loan of 6,000 USD that was already paid.
Last year, in July, the Court ordered a different preventive detention order against Correa, accusing him of being complicit in the failed kidnapping of right-wing opposition leader Fernando Balda.
This preventive detention order is another attempt of political persecution against former president Rafael Correa and his alternative political project by the neoliberal government of current President Lenín Moreno.