Vice president Jorge Glas and 12 others accused of accepting bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht are going to trial.
During hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, Judge Miguel Jurado agreed with the charges presented by national prosecutor Carlos Baca and dismissed all appeals from defense attorneys.
In his Thursday presentation before the judge, Baca claimed that Glas had received bribes of $13.5 million for five government projects. The bribes, Baca said, were paid through Glas’ uncle, Ricardo Rivera, who acted as an intermediary from 2012 through 2016.
The new charges against Glas are in addition to the original charge of illegal association, filed by the prosecutor’s office in August.
According to Baca, the bribery scheme was arranged by Glas at a 2011 meeting with Odebrecht officials when Glas served as Coordinating Minister for Strategic Sectors. Baca said the projects involved in the alleged corruption were the Pascuales-Cuenca petroleum pipeline, the Daule-Vinces water transfer station, earthworks for the Manduriacu and Esmeraldas refineries, and the La Esperanza Aqueduct.
In addition to Glas and Rivera, the judge also said that former national comptroller Carlos Pólit will stand trial on bribery charges.
Pre-trial proceedings continue today and next week.