Ecuador Attorney General Diana Salazar has requested that the court issue a pretrial detention order for former president Rafael Correa in the 2012-2016 Sobornos (Bribes) investigation of payments to the Alianza Pais campaign fund. The request will be considered by a national court judge on Thursday.
In a Wednesday morning hearing, Salazar listed 11 charges against Correa, including one that he deposited a check for $6,000 from the fund into his personal account.
The attorney general says that Correa was the “ring master of a criminal organization” involved in extorting money from government contractors for the benefit of Alianza Pais. She claims that more than $15 million was channeled to Alianza Pais bank accounts during the five-year investigation period.
Among the alleged bribes paid to Alianza Pais was $2.5 million from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
In addition to Correa, prosecutors are asking for preventive detention of five other former government officials including ex-vice president Jorge Glas, already in prison on corruption charges in the Odebrecht bribery scandal. In all, 22 government and business officials were charged during the morning bonding hearing.
Correa, who lives in Belgium, says he has no intention of returning to Ecuador and called Salazar’s charges “a joke.” He Tweeted that the $6,000 check mentioned in the charges was a loan that he paid back within a year.