Government denies Coopera case interference

Jun 8, 2014

AG denies favoritism in Coopera case

Ecuador Attorney General Galo Chiriboga says that judicial delays in the case against officials of the failed financial cooperative Coopera are not the result of government interference.

Chiriboga was in Cuenca last week to meet with court officials and attorneys for Coopera members who lost money in the failure.

At least one attorney has suggested that President Rafael Correa’s personal relationship with some Coopera officials might be responsible for delays and says he worries that the accused could go free. Coopera general manager Rodrigo Aucay ran for the national assembly in 2010 as a member of Correa’s País party and photos of the two campaigning together has been used in protests by Coopera members.

Chiriboga and Azuay provincial prosecutor Lisandro Martinez say it is impossible for the key defendants, including Aucay and the top two Coopera financial officials to be released because they have yet to be tried on money laundering charges.  “They have already been convicted of embezzlement and are serving terms for these crimes,” Martinez. Six defendants in the case remain at large, he says.

Chiriboga says there is no evidence that Correa or anyone else in the federal government have interfered in the case. “I am certain that the judges and court personnel in the case have worked independently and without outside pressure,” he said. “I have spoken to the president and he wants to see justice done to all guilty parties at Coopera.”