National Court Judge Daniella Camacho has agreed with Ecuador Attorney General Diana Salazar to order pre-trial detention for former president Rafael Correa in a case involving millions of dollars in contributions to the Alianza Pais campaign fund.
In her decision, Camacho said that the evidence presented by Salazar and her prosecution team justified the order for the ex-president and five other defendants in the so-called 2012-2016 Sobornos (Bribes) campaign finance investigation. “The information presented to me strongly suggests that the crimes of illicit association, influence peddling and bribery may have been committed in this case,” Camacho said.
In addition to Correa, former vice president Jorge Glas and former cabinet ministers Vinicio Alvarado and Walter Solíz were ordered jailed. Glas is already in prison, serving a six-year term in the Odebrecht bribery scandal.
It is unlikely that Correa will return to Ecuador to meet his sentence. He currently lives in Belgium and calls the 11 charges against him a “farce and a joke,” part of an “ongoing campaign of persecution” orchestrated by the government President Lenin Moreno.
Correa is under an earlier pre-trial detention order for his alleged involvement in a 2012 kidnapping in Colombia.
On Friday, Judge Camacho asked court personnel to prepare a request to the international police agency Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for Correa. A similar request in the kidnapping case was refused by Interpol in December based on the agency’s policy of avoiding involvement of what it considers political issues.