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Attorney General asks judge to set trial date for Correa and others in ‘2012-2016 bribes’ case

Ecuador Attorney General Diana Salazar has asked national court judge Daniella Camacho to set a trial date for former president Rafael Correa and 25 others in the so-called “Sobornos “2012-2016” (Bribes 2012-2016) case.

Attorney General Diana Salazar

The discovery phase of the government’s prosecution concluded last week with the testimony of a former Odebrecht construction company official and a former Correa aid. Salazar is seeking convictions on bribery, influence peddling and illegal association charges of former government officials and business officials who alleged paid bribes to Correa’s Alliance Pais party to finance campaigns as well as other political activities.

In last week’s hearings, José Conceição dos Santos, Odebrecht’s former chief of operations in Ecuador, admitted paying millions of dollars in bribes to Alliance Pais, corroborating earlier testimony by Correa aid and confidant Pamela Martínez. Dos Santos said he made a $2.6 million payment to Correa’s 2013 presidential campaign and another $2.5 million for Alliance Pais candidates in the 2014 regional election. Both payments were made directly to Martínez, according to dos Santos.

Prosecutors say that the Odebrecht central office in Brazil has confirmed dos Santos’ payments and the fact they were intended as political favors.

José Conceição dos Santos

In addition to payments to Martínez, dos Santos said he made cash payments to former government officials and Alliance Pais members Walter Solís, Viviana Bonilla, Alexis Mera and others, as well as one of $6,000 to Correa.

Dos Santos is currently serving a prison sentence in Brazil for his role in the Odebrecht scandal.

In a separate case, Salazar said Monday that her office is expanding its investigation into 40 Odebrecht contracts with the Correa administration and that criminal charges are likely forthcoming. The contracts are for work on such major projects as the Pacific Refinery, the Manduriacu and Esperanza hydro plants and the Daule-Vinces petroleum transfer station.

According to the United States Department of Justice, Odebrecht paid $788 million in bribes for more than 100 public construction projects in 11 Latin American and African countries, from 2000 to 2016.