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Correa and Glas are called to testify in ‘Green Rice’ campaign finance bribery case

Ecuador attorney general’s office has called former president and vice president Rafael Correa Jorge Glas to testify May 20 about millions of dollars of allegedly illegal contributions made to their 2013 campaigns.

Attorney General Diana Salazar

According to Attorney General Diana Salazar, $11.6 million were donated by various multinational companies, including Brazilian contractor Odebrecht which has admitted paying millions of dollars in bribes to Ecuadorian officials during the Correa presidency. The money was deposited in the Alliance Pais party account prior to the 2013 national elections, the attorney general says.

Salazar says the investigation is considering charges of bribery, influence peddling, organized crime and money laundering. Former presidential advisor Pamela Martínez has been jailed in the case, dubbed “green rice,” for receiving the contributions and allegedly trying to conceal their source.

In addition to Correa and Glas, who is serving a six-year prison term for corruption, prosecutors have summoned Correa’s legal secretary Alexis Mera, ex-minister María de los Ángeles Duarte and businessman Tomislav Topic to testify.

Salazar said Thursday that she had met with journalist Fernando Villavicencio who investigated the case and found the evidence to be “extensive.” Villavicencio claims that Martínez was acting on orders from Correa to deposit the contributions into the party account.

It is unlikely that Correa will appear at the hearing since he would be arrested for failure to testify in an early case involving the attempted kidnapping of a political rival. Correa lives in Belgium.