Ex-president Rafael Correa has asked for international protection after an Ecuadorian judge who ordered him jailed for missing a court date even though the former leader is living in Europe. Ironically, the organization he is turning to for help, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, he once called “an illegitimate tool of colonialism.”
Correa appealed Friday to the commission, saying he is in grave danger from criminal prosecution.
In July, a criminal court judge in in Quito ordered Correa’s arrest and extradition from Belgium after he failed to appear for legal proceedings in connection with a 2012 kidnapping case. Correa has not been officially charged with a crime but that could change within two weeks when the federal prosecutor presents his final case to the judge. Interviews of suspects and witnesses are scheduled to conclude this week.
Several former employees of Ecuador’s intelligence agency claim that Correa personally ordered the kidnapping of one-time supporter turned political rival, Fernando Balda. The kidnapping occurred in Colombia but was stopped by Colombian police.
Judge Daniella Camacho has set July 31 as the hearing date for the prosecutor’s arguments, after which criminal charge may be filed against Correa and several others suspected of ordering and carrying out the kidnapping.
Correa lives in Brussels with his Belgian-wife.