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Presidential aid provides more court testimony against Correa in bribery case

In a Tuesday court appearance, former presidential aid Pamela Martínez corroborated earlier testimony by an assistant that she managed financial contributions demanded by former president Rafael Correa to the Alianza Pais political party.

According the federal attorney general’s office, the contributions were part of an extortion and bribery scheme to fund Correa’s political activities and Alianza Pais campaigns.

Pamela Martínez

Martínez also confirmed testimony from her assistant, Laura Terán, that Correa ordered all records of the contributions from government contractors, including Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht, destroyed.

Appearing before National Court of Justice Judge Daniella Camacho, a tearful Martínez apologized to her husband, her family and Terán for her participation in the so-called “Sobornos “2012-2016” (Bribes 2012-2016) transactions that involved not only Correa but other top government and Alianza Pais officials. Although she claims she was “simply following orders,” Martínez admitted that she knew the contributions were “probably extorted” and may have been illegal.

In her testimony, Martínez told how the contributions were processed in a building behind the Carondelet presidential palace in Quito and that she personally delivered cash to several government officials. Some of those deliveries, she said, involved as much as $300,000.

Martínez recounted phone conversations with Correa in 2017, after he had left office, in which the former president told her to destroy records of the contributions. “He ordered me to destroy all the information related to the the payments,” she testified, adding that he a called back on more than one occasion to reconfirm that the data had been eliminated. Martínez said she passed on the order to Terán.

According to government prosecutors, not all information related to the case was destroyed. They say they have a “considerable amount of records” in their possession.

In addition to Correa, Martínez said she had conversations with other officials, including former minister of foreign affairs Ricardo Patina, in an effort to confirm that evidence of the payments was destroyed.

In a Tweet from his home in Belgium, Correa claimed that Martínez’s and Terán’s testimony were “lies.”

7 thoughts on “Presidential aid provides more court testimony against Correa in bribery case

  1. Is this what they call “Fake News” in Ecuador or is this just Correa following the lead of a well known US President and denied everything?

  2. Women make the best actresses. The tearful testimony of ‘he said, she said’ without evidence. Go girl, metoo…

    1. These ladies sound pretty reliable to me. Their stories jive even though they haven’t been in contact. In a case as big as this there’s plenty of evidence out there — it can’t all be destroyed. It’s been tried before and it never works.

      1. They have indeed been in contact. They were both arrested together, jailed in the same prison, and have been questioned (coached) by the prosecution for several months. As for the “evidence”, the AG couldn’t find any after arresting Martinez and having everything in her home carted away. Then after holding her in custody for over 3 weeks, they claimed to have gone back to search her home again where they found handwritten notebooks detailing all the claims made in the original story that prompted this investigation published by La Posta. For the record, despite government austerity measures eliminating spending on media advertising, La Posta has received $140k in advertising contracts from Moreno’s government in the past 18 months after having received zero the year before.

        The notebooks, which were provided to the media months before there was even an indictment, purportedly contain all the details of all the transactions. Despite being meticulously detailed, all the notebooks have had their back covers torn off. That just happens to be the part that contains the barcode that would indicate when the notebooks were printed. Curiously, that’s the exact same thing that happened when prosecutors in Argentina presented handwritten notebooks they miraculously found in the home of one of Cristina’s aides weeks after he had been taken into custody and turned state’s evidence.

        But like you said, in a case this big there must be plenty of evidence out there. It can’t all be destroyed. Let’s see if they present any before Camacho hands down another inevitable conviction. Then again, it’s not really necessary, is it? The Glas case was pretty big and despite being in prison for the past 2 years, the prosecutor in that case (now the AG) has yet to produce a single piece of evidence that any crime even took place.

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