The National Assembly has announced plans to put Ecuador Comptroller General Carlos Pólit on trial for his role in the Odebrecht scandal but the charges against him remain unclear. Pólit’s home in Guayaquil was raided last Friday but the prosecutor’s office has said only that the raid was carried on suspicion of “collusion” and “the impeding of justice.”
Assembly president José Serrano has requested additional information from Attorney General Carlos Bacas in the case.
It is unclear if Pólit will attend the trial. He has been on medical leave from his position for two weeks and is currently in Miami. He has been temporarily replaced by deputy comptroller, Pablo Celi.
As part of the Odebrecht investigation, members from the assembly’s CREO-SUMA minority bloc have asked that Vice President Jorge Glas be called to testify before the assembly. The request was blocked by the majority Alianza País members who maintain that since there are no charges against the vice president, there is no need for him to be called. CREO-SUMA is the party of defeated presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso. Glas is a member of Alianza País.
CREO assembly members claim that Glas’s connection with an uncle, who was arrested for allegedly taking as much as $5 million in bribes from Odebrecht, is sufficient grounds for his testimony. They say that the uncle used Glas’ name in communications with Odebrecht. Glas says he is willing to testify if he is called.
Celi met Thursday with Serrano and pledged his support in the investigation of Polít and activities in the comptroller’s office. Earlier in the day, police and prosecutors visited the office and took files and computer disks related to the investigation.
Celi’s temporary status as comptroller general was affirmed bySerrano and the assembly despite the fact that Polít had left a letter firing him.