The Provincial Court of Santa Elena will meet May 18 to consider revoking the habeas corpus ruling that allowed former vice president Jorge Glas’ release from prison. Judge Diego Javier Moscoso of Manglaralto, who handed down the habeas corpus, has been given five days by the court to justify his April 9 decision.
The Attorney General’s office, a party to the appeal, has labeled the release of Glas “absolutely irregular, and outside the bounds of established law.” State attorney Íñigo Salvador claims that Moscoso had no legal basis for issuing the habeas corpus ruling since his court was not in the district of Glas’ residence or that of the prison where he was incarcerated.
“The only reason the case was heard in Manglaralto was that a political supporter of Glas and former president [Rafael] Correa lived there and this is not sufficient justification for the judge to hear the case,” Salvador said.
Prosecutor Paul Riofrío, who is working with Salvador, says his office has evidence that Moscoso was in contact with supporters of Glas and Correa. “He was supporter of the former president and maintained ties to Correismo while he was on the court, which is a conflict of interest.”
Riofrío added that there are legitimate reasons for a prisoner to be released from prison based on humanitarian gournds. “Habeas corpus, however, must be reserved for special situations and for prisoners who have committed lesser crimes than Glas. Glas oversaw the largest case of corruption in Ecuador’s history and deserves no mercy. Hundreds of millions of dollars went into private pockets during his watch. As for the complaints about his health, as soon as he left prison he went on a political tour, meeting his supporters. He did not look like a sick man.”
Salvador acknowledges that the government made an error when representatives of the National Police and the prison system did not object to Moscoso’s ruling. “It is true they were called to the hearing but the Attorney General’s office was not notified, which is a procedural violation.”
The Santa Elena judges who will hear the appeal are Silvana Caicedo, Kléber Franco and Juan Camacho.