National Court of Justice Judge Daniella Camacho called 21 defendants to stand trial Friday in the so-called Sobornos 2012-2016, or Bribes 2012-2016, case. Among those are former president president Rafael Correa.
Camacho ruled that prosecutors had provided “sufficient evidence” that the defendants had participated in acts of corruption to warrant a trial.
In addition to Correa, other defendants called include Jorge Glas, Vinicio Alvarado, Alexis Mera, María de los Ángeles Duarte, all who served 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 cited by Camacho were the solicitation of political contributions from government contractors involved in highway and hydro-electric plant construction as well as other infrastructure projects. The money collected, she said, went into Alianza País party bank accounts.
Camacho issued an arrest order for Correa, who is living in Belgium where he is a guest university lecturer and commentator for the Russia Today (RT) news organzation.
In 2018, Camacho ordered Correa to return to Ecuador to face charges in a 2012 Colombian kidnapping case. Correa refused and a warrant was issued for his arrest although Interpol, the international police agency, rejected its enforcement on the grounds that the charges were politcal, not criminal.