Ecuador News

Odebrecht corruption trial against Glas and eight others enters its final phase

The Odebrecht corruption trial against Vice President Jorge Glas and eight others has entered its final phase. On Wednesday, prosecutors and defense attorneys began presenting closing arguments, after which criminal court judges Édgar Flores, Sylvia Sánchez and Richard Villagómez will begin deliberations for their verdicts.

Odebrecht corruption trial against Glas and eight others enters its final phase
Vice President Jorge Glas

Glas continues to maintain his innocence. Arriving at court Wednesday, he claimed that the prosecution has failed to prove the case against him. “There has been a pact (with the government) and Odebrecht in this case, very probably a political pact, with my head in the crosshairs,” he said outside the courtroom.

Much of the evidence against Glas and his uncle, Ricardo Rivera, is based on testimony and taped conversations provided by Odebrecht company representatives who have been convicted of corruption in a Brazilian court. The Odebrecht representatives admit paying as much as $32 million in bribes to Ecuadorian officials in charge of government contracts since 2010.

Other evidence has been provided by the U.S. State Department and private citizens, including a close associate to Rivera.

Ecuador Attorney General Carlos Baca says his case against all defendants is “solid and air-tight.” Baca’s prosecutors maintain that Glas received millions of dollars in payments based on a one percent over-ride on all government contracts since he became vice president in 2014. The money, they maintain, was paid through Rivera.

Private accuser against Glas, César Montúfar, blasted the state’s prosecution team Wednesday for being banned from the reparations phase of the trial on Tuesday. Three government attorneys arrived seven minutes late to court and were banned form further proceedings by the judges. “What this means is that the people are unrepresented in any action to regain the money that was received illegally,” he said. “This is irresponsible and unprofessional behavior on the part of the government,” he added.

The judges action barring the prosecutors does not affect the criminal case.

The judges have offered no schedule for delivering verdicts but say their deliberations could take days or even weeks.

  • Michael Berger

    Of course their deliberations could take days or even weeks! They either have to first run out the clock on Glas and then admit they have no proof against him or restore him as vice president or find him guilty anyway in which case they need not delay. It looks like they are leaning towards the latter.

    Although you have seen many boxes of “evidence” and there have been testimony from some other people, the prosecutors have not been able to articulate how any of their so called evidence implicates Glas. In reality the case comes down to an Odebrecht official’s claim that Glas’s uncle was routing bribe money to Glas VS Glas’s claim that Odebrecht conspired against him as revenge for him kicking them out of the country and as part of a political conspiracy against him.

    To be fair to the prosecutors, if you look at the trial from the perspective of Ecuadorian legal tradition i.e. that anyone accused by the government is treated as guilty until and unless they can prove their innocence, Glas has failed to prove his innocence. I was once accused of a crime by the Ecuadorian government but in my case, due to the nature of the accusation, I was eventually able to prove my innocence. In Glas’s case, if he is innocent, then it is virtually impossible for him to prove he did not receive bribe money in some foreign bank account.

    In the end Glas is a victim of his own corrupt legal system. His failure to enforce the law and hold judges accountable to basic principles of justice when he was in power has come back to bite him in ways he never expected.

    • Kevin Lichtman

      You hit the nail on the head with “Glas is a victim of his own corrupt legal system” Ecuadorian politics is fun!

  • Jason Faulkner

    “Much of the evidence against Glas and his uncle, Ricardo Rivera, is
    based on testimony and taped conversations provided by Odebrecht company
    representatives who have been convicted of corruption in a Brazilian
    court.”

    Actually, that’s the ONLY evidence that has been presented against Glas. Incidentally, the testimony in question was provided by the same guy that threatened Glas in front of multiple witnesses after Glas kicked Odebrecht out of the country. Despite Odebrecht having an entire department dedicated to paying bribes all over the world, a department that kept records so meticulous, the documentation has led to convictions of even former presidents, Santos hasn’t provided a single shred of material evidence to back his claims. All we have is the word of a convicted felon looking to get time off his sentence.

    “Other evidence has been provided by the U.S. State Department and private citizens, including a close associate to Rivera.”

    And none of that evidence mentions any of the 8 people on trial or anyone in the Correa administration. Not a single one.

    “Ecuador Attorney General Carlos Baca says his case against all defendants is “solid and air-tight.””

    Which is why the procuraduria pulled out of the case three days ago.

    “Private accuser against Glas, César Montúfar, blasted the state’s
    prosecution team Wednesday for being banned from the reparations phase
    of the trial on Tuesday.”

    The same Cesar Montufar who has been saying he has solid proof for years yet still hasn’t presented it. The same Cesar Montufar who has made a career filing frivolous lawsuits against the Correa government on a nearly monthly basis. The same Cesar Montufar who has never won a judgment.

    I invite anyone who disagrees with any of the above to go through the daily summaries of the case, of which there are many in many different sources, and indicate which piece of evidence has been presented. The reality is they presented nothing. This entire thing has been a farce, the singular purpose of which is to keep Glas in prison for 90 days so that he is removed from the vicepresidency.

    • Carlos Baca

      Mr. Faulkner we make case against Glas with much evidence many boxes in foto below. Many boxes make proof Glas guilty. How dare you question our ethic! You don’t shut now your mouth boxes of evidence will have against you also and to jail with Glas you go.

      http://www.elcomercio.com/files/article_main/uploads/2017/11/08/5a030adebd315.jpeg

    • lorenzo

      I remember you saying the same thing weeks (months?) ago. Meanwhile, the gringo mob had already condemned Glas as guilty. I seem to remember someone actually suggested a lynching. Now the mob has gone back into hiding, or some are changing their tune.
      Gringos who are clueless as to how politics work/don’t work here in Ecuador are like chattering monkeys.

      • Jason Faulkner

        That’s the thing about gringos. Often in error, never in doubt.

        That’s why they hide their comments history. Exceptionalism means never having to admit they were wrong the whole time.

        • Michael Berger

          You had your profile locked. Do you include yourself in that group?

          As someone who has been accused by you of hiding their comment history I should point out that my position on Glas has always been 100% consistent. I have always maintained that if he was innocent he would be convicted of being guilty by an Ecuadorian court and that if he was guilty he would remain free. Therefore, although in the past I believed Glas was probably guilty, it is now appearing as though he is innocent since a guilty verdict seems to be in the works. We will soon know if my initial assumption about Glas’s guilt was correct or not, he could still be found innocent in court.

          • Jason Faulkner

            I didn’t “accuse” you of anything. I made a statement of fact and anyone with a web browser can click on your name and confirm it. That’s the thing about language. Words have meaning. You’ve demonstrated a repeated habit of making words mean whatever you want whenever you want so long as it fits your ever changing opinion at that moment. It’s why your arguments are meaningless. Whatever you say today can mean something completely different tomorrow. It’s that lack of integrity that makes it impossible to take you seriously.

            Maybe Glas is guilty. I can’t prove a negative. However, one thing is crystal clear. Not a single piece of evidence was presented against him in court. If he is found “guilty”, it’s only because the departure of Correa means we are back to being a typical Latin American banana republic where the whims of the monied class are expressed through public institutions. Whatever. I’ve spent my entire adult life living in such places and it hasn’t held me back, it only makes life annoying. I only fear for the 16 million Ecuadorians who spent a decade living in a free country with hope for the future who are now condemned to be nothing but field workers on a caudillo’s finca.

        • StillWatching

          Your second sentence characterizes yourself perfectly. You just don’t have the integrity to admit it.

      • Galileo

        Ok, then tell us O enlightened longo!

        • lorenzo

          I wasn’t specifically calling you a chattering monkey unless the shoe fits. Calling me a longo, by Ecuadorian definition, you are saying that I am a low class, uneducated, poor, indigenous, dark skinned person. I guess the shoe might fit after all.

    • Fernando Alvarez

      You make Glas out as a Christ-like figure instead of the second-rate politician and con-man that he is. He was surrounded by corruption for years and never protested until he was forced to. If he is not guilty of taking bribes directly, he is certainly guilty of a level of ignorance hard to imagine, and ignorance that cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars. Even the Correists think he’s a loser. Listen to the Mangas tapes, especially the second one. Check in on the Twitter feeds. Open your eyes.

      • StillWatching

        VERY well stated.

    • Galileo

      “Actually, that’s the ONLY evidence that has been presented against Glas,” said the person in denial. LOL As if that is not enough? I would be shakin’ in my boots if I were Glas. We will know soon enough.

      • StillWatching

        You nailed that one. It is like asking Mrs. Lincoln, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

      • Jason Faulkner

        What am I denying? There were 80 points of “evidence” presented in court. Over half were simply contracts signed by various officials, none of them Glas or any of those implicated, all of which were available in the public record. Which pieces of evidence, SPECIFICALLY, implicate Glas in any crime?

        I know it’s a waste of time to ask because you have no idea what’s going on. You’re rooting for a football team at this point. I leave my question here for the digital archeologists of the future. Some PhD candidate in the 24th century will use this and many other exchanges with you as proof that people in the 21st century were mostly incapable of intellectual honesty.

  • StillWatching

    Typical faulkner obfuscation.

  • Michael Berger

    It doesn’t matter if his first language is Swahili, you were wrong, just admit it. When the Ecuadorian government has had you in custody for a couple months for a crime for which it would be impossible for you to prove your innocence and the majority of your past supporters have turned on you, your back is against the wall period!