Claiming that “justice has not been served,” former president Rafael Correa attacked his Tuesday conviction on corruption charges in a Quito criminal court as an “act of fraud” that will be corrected by international courts. He also said his attorney would appeal the sentence in Ecuador.
Correa insisted that the conviction was intended to keep him off the ballot in next February’s national election. “Well, this is what they were looking for, managing justice to achieve what they could never do at the ballot box,” he wrote on his Twitter account. Under Ecuadorian law, a person convicted of a crime cannot run for public office for a period of 25 years.
The former president and 19 former government officials and business executives were found guilty of “engaging in corrupt activities” in the so-called Bribes 2006-2012 case. The judge ruled that the evidence was “overwhelming” that Correa knew about and coordinated millions of dollars of illegal payments extorted from government contractors. According the verdict, the money was channeled into political campaign accounts.
Speaking to his supporters on social media, Correa said the verdict was not unexpected and that he is prepared for a fight. “I’m fine. I am concerned about my colleagues, who have also been persecuted. Surely we will win internationally because everything the government says and does is bullshit, but it may take years. It depends on your support when this nightmare ends, “he said.