In criminal court on Thursday, Ecuador Attorney General Diana Salazar asked judges to impose the maximum prison sentence on former president Rafael Correa. During the same presentation, she asked for a 90 percent reduction in the sentence for two key players in the so-called Bribery 2012-2016 case, claiming they were simply following orders.
“He [Correa] was at the top of the crime pyramid and should serve the maximum sentence,” Salazar told judges during the thirteenth day of the trial in Quito.
She dismissed defense attorney arguments that Correa signed none of the contracts with contractors and had no direct contact with those who allegedly paid bribes to fund Alianza Paiz political activities. “Why would he sign them?” she asked. “He has ministers and secretaries to handle those details.” She added: “Pablo Escobar always claimed he never snorted cocaine.”
Salazar is asking the court for a six-year sentence for Correa.
Salazar also requested that Pamela Martínez and Laura Terán be given a 90 percent reductions in their sentences. The first arrests in the case, the pair were the intermediaries between Correa, former vice president Jorge Glas and government ministers and the contractors who paid the alleged bribes, according to allegations.
In addition to Correa, other defendants in the case are Glas, Vinicio Alvarado, Alexis Mera, María de los Ángeles Duarte, all serving in the Correa government. Glas, a former vice president, was convicted in an earlier corruption trial and is currently serving a six-year prison sentence.
Among the charges in the case were the solicitation of political contributions from government contractors involved in highway and hydro-electric plant construction and other infrastructure projects. The money collected, according to charges, went into Alianza País party bank accounts. In total, $34 million in bribes were allegedly collected.