In an open letter on Saturday, Ecuador’s National Anti-Corruption Commission demanded that the National Assembly relieve Ecuador Comptroller General Carlos Pólit of his official duties and put him on trial for corruption.
The commission is also asking President Lenin Moreno to remove Vice President Jorge Glas from any responsibilities related to the investigations of the Odebrecht, PetroChina, and Petroecuador bribery scandals.
Other current and former officials are demanding that Glas step down or be removed from office entirely.
Polít, who is in Miami visiting a sick relative, has been charged by the prosecutor’s office with “abusing authority” and “collusion against justice” but no specific allegation have been made public. Polít, through his attorney, claims the charges are false and the result of a vendetta against him by Ecuador Attorney General Carlos Baca and the anti-corruption commission.
There are no charges in the Odebrecht or Petroecuador cases against Glas but members of the anti-corruption commission say that the arrest of his uncle Ricardo Rivera and “unresolved allegations” are sufficient grounds for his removal from duties that could interfere with the investigations.
President of the National Assembly José Serrano agrees with the commission about Polít and says he will call for a trail in the Assembly against the comptroller. “I am meeting with members of my legislative bloc (Alianza País) to discuss how to proceed with legal action,” he said in his Twitter account. Pólit, an Alianza País member, has held the comptroller job since 2007 and was recently reappointed by the Assembly to serve until 2022.
Some Assembly members contend that there should be no trial until details of the charges against Polít are revealed.
Among those demanding the resignation of Glas is former president of the National Assembly Alberto Acosta, who says that the vice president represents the “corrupt past.”
Acosta and several Assembly members say that “unresolved suspicions in the Petroecuador scandal” and ties to Rivera warrant Glas’ removal from office. Rivera, along with six others, was arrested Friday morning on charges he accepted as much as $5 million in bribes from Odebrecht.
During the recent presidential campaign, Glas defended Rivera against corruption charges leveled by the campaign of Guillermo Lasso.