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Judge agrees with attorney general, issues pre-trial jail order for ex-president Correa

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.

Former president Rafael Correa

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.

33 thoughts on “Judge agrees with attorney general, issues pre-trial jail order for ex-president Correa

  1. Media, anywhere, is not generally very knowledgeable about what they right about. That allows them to present a perspective, massaged it in any direction they choose, sometimes even innocently. And most readers scan only headlines.. 😉

    I am neither a Correa fan nor opponent. So far, there has been insufficient hard evidence to push me either way aside from stating (often) that in a presidential-type system, he overstayed. And so many make that mistake as it is inherent in human nature and that type of system gives it expression.

    Motions in Court made before a trial..are often heard by a judge “ex parte”. In this case, the interim judgement is made upon the facts presented by one side, without witnesses or jury, and based on an affidavit from that side. The judge is required by law to accept the affidavits statements as if they have been proven at this stage.

    So such a judgement merely indicates that the attorney general came up with sufficient reasons that justifying a pre-trial incarceration of a witness. It does NOT mean that that the reasons have been tested as a full and fair hearing allows.

    However, lay people read headlines..and none goes tearing off to law school. Without understanding, reputations and trial outcomes will always be perverted. My question would be why another route was not taken. For example, a rogatory commission https://bit.ly/2YD7bWf to question Correa in Belgium or a venue comfortable to both sides. There are other methods.
    The fact there has been no effort in such a direction and rather every effort to make this as high profile as possible merely fills a political agenda.

  2. I keep thinking I will hear something about the INA case but it seems to have disappeared and instead we get the next installment of ‘get Correa by any means possible’. Is there some sort of intergalactic correlation with these two stories or is it just me???

    1. The only thing you’ll ever hear about the INA case is millions of Ecuadorians asking “when is the AG going to open an investigation?”

  3. Shortly after Hugo
    Chavez came into power he began an alliance with Cuba. He helped Fernandez,
    Morales, Ortega and Correa get into power and Chavismo started to shine. While
    Chavez had wonderful intentions at first especially with the poor, things
    started to sour with corruption loss of freedom of the press and other
    Dictatorship like characteristics including bribery, money laundering and a
    relationship with drug cartels. I realize that most all South American politics
    are corrupt I still have hope for every South American and Latin American
    country will prosper and maybe one day have their Industrial Revolution of
    sort.

    South American politics is extremely unique and varies
    widely from county to country. When you look what Fernandez has done to
    Argentina: confiscated peoples retirement funds, made billions when she took
    over the airlines……….Ortega has ruined Nicaragua a place that just a few years
    ago was a vacation hot spot and Europeans and North Americans were purchasing
    land…….Morales can only boast of the 12th largest economy in South
    America and Correa overleveraged Ecuador ,tried to mute the press, thought it
    was necessary for him to have 2 jets and
    left the country in debt and now lives
    in a palace in Belgium …..Have you been to Havana lately!!……….All this
    became possible at least in part by CHAVISMO!

    If you really want to learn of a unique country, read about
    Peru. Something like the last 25 out of 27 President’s or leaders have been
    imprisoned, are in exile or awaiting trial. Peru’s people never trust any of
    their leaders and for good reason.

    When talking politics
    especially at an online forum. You are either preaching to the choir or making
    an enemy, neither of which are productive. But it is still interesting.

    If you really want an understanding of South American you
    need to start with the Asian Ice Age Migration

    1. Isn’t it funny how you can keep repeating that “no freedom of the press” gambit yet you can’t name a single story that the press wasn’t free to report?

      Oh wait, I meant isn’t it sad?

    2. Very well said Osvaldo Chavez. Good to know that your comment is silencing the chatter from the anti democratic and pro dictatorship camp

      1. Said the person who ignores the fact that the US has installed, financed and armed more dictatorships than any country on the planet

        1. Well, we have arrived at the conclusion that you are getting your information from the anti U.S. sites that make up false stories and create fake news. Possibly a Russian site perhaps?? or ones affiliated with the anti U.S. movement

          1. We’ve arrived at a conclusion? There’s a movement?

            What a crowded kingdom you rule inside that mind.

  4. Correa is being persecuted by a corrupted justice system ordered by traitor Moreno. The Interpol has already turned down two arrest warrant requests by Moreno because they found no evidence of any wrongdoing. This time will be the same to the embarrassment of Moreno and his cronies

    1. Not only did they find no evidence of a crime, they found strong indications of political persecution. This government has turned Ecuador into an international joke. Welcome back to the banana republic … just in time for the fungus to kill all the bananas.

  5. How is it that out of 21 judges on the CNJ, Camacho “randomly” gets assigned to all 11 of Correa’s cases.

    Tell the one again about how Correa controlled the courts.

    1. No….Jason, that is common. The Chief Justice of the Court (who is the final arbiter of the assignment of cases in his court level, will most often assign all cases with similiar proof, witnesses and accused to the same judge. It avoids the need to prove the same facts to different judges and the risk of opposing decisions. It is called being “seized with a matter”, (a bad translation of the original Napoleonic French).

      Of course, the reasons for the CJ’s choice of a specific judge are always unknown..though their experience in the subject matter and availability is supposed to be the deciding factors. (I used to say it was because of stunning good looks!)

      That being said, it is always a risk putting a person who knows too much about too many powerful VIPs in a place where he/she is vulnerable and accessible. Even the healthiest have a habit of …er…becoming mortally ill or committing suicide, even with the cell door unlocked.

      1. Maybe it’s common in Canada, but here in Ecuador the law requires that all cases before the CNJ be assigned to judges by random lottery. That law was enacted specifically to prevent situations like this one in which the prosecutor can select a judge they feel is friendly to their cause. Ever since Camacho showed her willingness to completely ignore the law when she admitted the Balda case, she’s been assigned every case in which Correa is the defendant. She’s also the only judge on the CNJ not under “review” by the Judiciary Council.

        Tellingly, she holds the record for the most red notice requests denied by Interpol.

        1. It is common in every jurisdiction I have ever seen. Think of it Jason. 11 different judges, hearing 11 cases based on the same facts and witnesses, in the same court level in the same country all going on simultaneously. Not only is there a HUGE waste of time making the same proof 11 times, but the likelihood of a conflicting judgements is a practical certainty. A horror show leading to a contempt for law and the courts.

          If the Ecuador judiciary has opted for an incredibly impractical system, it would be the first I have ever heard of that bad. Most countries merely have a rotating roster and whichever judge pops up get the case (unless they must be recused) . But I have no problem with an awkward lottery system for the first pick…only that probability theory guarantees it will eventually cause traffic jams.

          When you become president (I have my hopes) you must change that. Makes NO sense.

          As for the rest..either on Correa or Moreno. I have to consider the matter open. https://bit.ly/2HBIHmW

          Please understand my perspective. Yes. Corruption is a HUGE drag on every economy it is found..and prejudices the existence of justice. But it does not, in my experience, make members of that society uncharming or incapable of acts of kindness or compassion. It is merely their accepted standard of transacting with others. I am saddened by the great economic loss it creates, and the great consequent prejudice to perception of justice but HEY!, changing societies takes a great effort over a LONG time.

          1. None of these cases are based on the same evidence or the same witnesses. They’re completely different accusations (one more fantastic than the next) separated by years and judgment in one would have nothing to do with the judgment in another.

          2. You are wrong Globetrotter. I was a litigation paralegal for thirty years in the U.S. Judges are selected at random except for special circumstances. One can make a motion to change judges, if another judge has substantially the same case before them.

            1. TY jnack. I have some legal experience myself. 🙂 Canada, France, the USA, Mexico….

              The USA is not a good place to look for international legal templates or guidance standards. Elected judges, partisan appointments, an incarceration rate that is MANY multiples the world average (the only exception being Putin’s Russia at 18% less per capita) ). The system is ONE of the reasons the US has fallen off the list of the world’s full democracies. In fact, it is ranked just under Estonia.

              If you are looking for examples of fair judicial systems look to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland or the Netherlands. Ranked by the lowest degree of influence of government power; absence of corruption; how open the government; the respect for fundamental rights; the degree of order, security & regulatory enforcement in civil justice; criminal justice and informal justice, the USA legal system now ranks somewhere in the mid-20s and dropping faster than any country has moved (in either direction) in the history of these rankings.

              Let’s see if Robert will allow this one to be posted.

              1. We’re not talking about the US or Denmark or Norway or any other country. This is Ecuador and in Ecuador judges are assigned cases only by random lottery. The fact that Camacho has a 1 in 21 chance of being assigned a case and yet got Correa 11 times is surely only a coincidence. The fact that she’s the only judge on the CNJ not being reviewed by the Judiciary Council is also pure coincidence. Just the luck of the draw, right?

    1. Saying another case against Correa is imminent is like saying the sun will rise tomorrow. Of course another case is imminent. They’ll keep piling on cases and filing pretrial motions until after the enrollment deadline for candidates in the 2021 election, after which time all these cases will quietly fade away. They don’t have a case against Correa. That’s why none of these cases have gone to trial.

  6. This discussion is a major waste of time. You’ll never see Correa in EC, plain and simple. All the talking heads on both sides of this issue are just blowing hot air up each others skirt.
    Do something more constructive, like rehash the coming of Cuenca’s world class albalbatross…..the infamous tranvia.

  7. A tweet yesterday from Rafael’s brother Fabricio in response to Rafael’s tweet referring to Fabricio as “resentful”.

    “Resentful” No, brother. DISAPPOINTED like most Ecuadorians who believed in you and ASHAMED like everyone in the family that another Rafael Correa is criminally charged…but at least my father had the decency to recognize his error, pay the price in prison and correct his ways.

    https://www.larepublica.ec/blog/politica/2019/08/10/fabricio-correa-increpa-a-su-nano-y-lo-compara-con-su-padre/

    1. His father actually committed a crime.

      And yes, Fabricio has been resentful for many years after he tried to profit off his relationship to Rafael to scam government contracts and Rafael outed him publicly and cut his companies off from any business with the government.

      1. Right,

        When the persecuted authors of the book the Gran Hermano published their investigation in the newspaper Expreso, Correa publicly stated “Que me demuestren qué de ilegal tienen estos contratos y en qué se ha perjudicado al país”, “May they show me what is illegal about these contracts and how they have injured the country.” It was only later he changed his position.

        Fabricio Correa, who has an engineering business, acted as his brother’s fund-raiser during his election campaign in 2006. After Rafael entered the presidential palace, Fabricio gained government contracts, mainly for roadbuilding and oil services, worth $167m, according to the comptroller-general’s office. That was far more than he had received under any previous government. Fabricio skirted a rule forbidding relatives of public officials from gaining government contracts by registering companies in Panama in which he was the main shareholder

        https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2009/10/15/family-fallout

        1. When did being criticized become persecution?

          Fabricio did indeed win government contracts. He did it by creating shell companies that hid his ownership. When the president found out, he immediately cancelled all the contracts. Since then, Fabricio has made his living speaking out against his half brother to any media outlet that would take him (pretty much every private media outlet in Ecuador).

          Tell me again what crime Correa committed?

      2. Gosh JF I was more than curious how you could possibly defend Correa on this one. I have been saying that Correa is corrupt for a long long time and here is the proof AGAIN

        1. Proof of what? He got a $6k loan from a solidarity fund that he paid into for over 10 years and he paid the loan back in 12 months as stipulated in the loan request.

          You’re so desperate to take down anyone with a political ideology you disagree with that you’ve convinced yourself that this is an indication of corruption when any honest observer can plainly see that it isn’t. You should give up the pretense that you care about right and wrong and just admit that you’re a partisan hack willing to say anything so long as it furthers your agenda. At least that would explain why you ignore all the dictatorships installed and armed by the US while at the same time ranting about freedom and democracy.

          There’s nothing sadder than a hypocrite who doesn’t realize that everyone sees right through them.

          1. What I see is someone who would go to lengths to find negative information on the U.S. and overlook the fact that most of the misinformation and fake news is placed there by Russian hackers

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