Three months after an Ecuadorian court asked international law enforcement agency Interpol to issue a “red alert” to detain, imprison, and extradite former president Rafael Correa, the agency has decided that there is insufficient evidence to carry out the request.
Although an arrest warrant remains in place for Correa if he returns to Ecuador, Interpol said he will remain free in Europe, where he lives.
According to Correa’s legal team, Ecuador’s request for arrest and extradition were “legally exceptional” and without merit. “We are pleased with the Interpol decision and we feel it bolsters our position that the prosecution of President Correa on charges of conspiracy and kidnapping is of a strictly political nature.”
n July, Ecuadorian Attorney General Paul Perez issued an international request that Correa, 55, be placed in preventive detention and extradited for not appearing at the Ecuadorian prosecutor’s office as part of a trial related to his alleged role in the attempted abduction of former opposition legislator Fernando Balda. The ex-legislator and one-time associate of Correa, Balda, had escaped to neighboring Colombia in 2012 following his conviction for slander against Correa.
Correa, who lives in his wife’s home country of Belgium, has denied the charge and sees the process as a “farce” and as “lawfare” — or the politicization of the judiciary and “a continuation of President Lenin Moreno’s campaign” to tarnish his image and prevent him from remaining involved in his country’s political future.
It remains to be seen whether Interpol’s Files Control Commission will allow Ecuador’s lawsuit against Correa to continue on an international level.
However, pretrial hearings for the case are due to continue in Ecuador on Friday following delays earlier this week, when the prosecution’s case materials were found to be unfit for presentation to the court owing to technical errors.