Ecuador’s National Court ruled Sunday that Vice President Jorge Glas will remain in jail until the conclusion of his Odebrecht corruption trial. In a habeas corpus petition, Glas’ attorney Franco Loor claimed that pre-trial detention was “illegitimate and illegal” and not supported by the evidence.
After deliberating for two hours, Judges Rosa Álvarez, Asdrúbal Granizo and Merck Benavides ruled in favor of the state’s argument that there was sufficient evidence against Glas to keep the vice president in jail. Prosecutors for the attorney general said they believed that Glas represented a risk to leave the country, as have other defendants in the case.
Speaking for himself at the hearing, Glas claimed he is the victim of a conspiracy by political opponents and Odebrecht. “Odebrecht has many reasons to hate me, because I expelled them from Ecuador in 2008,” he said, referring to the company’s 18-month ban from working in the country as a result of alleged construction problems at a hydroelectric plant.
Glas also claimed that he is the victim of “media lynching,” blaming newspapers and television stations of spreading false information. “Because of a conspiracy by the press, I have not been able to defend myself,” he said.
Loor added that the pre-trial detention is an insult to Glas. “He has said he has no plans to leave the country and he is a man of his word,” Loor said. “This entire process has been unjust and arbitrary and we plan to appeal today’s ruling.”
Glas was charged in September of illicit association with Odebrecht officials and ordered to jail October 2. Federal prosecutors say that more charges may be filed against him based on new evidence that he received bribes through his uncle, Ricardo Rivera, who was arrested for accepting as much as $13 million from Odebrecht.