Federal prosecutor Diana Salazar says there is sufficient evidence against Vice President Jorge Glas to put him on trial for corruption. But there’s a catch: Under the constitution, Ecuador’s National Assembly must authorize any legal action against the president and vice president.
Shortly after Salazar turned over a 10-count charge against the vice president to the attorney general, Glas urged the Assembly to vote to allow his case to go to trial. “I want this situation resolved as quickly as possible so I am requesting that the National Assembly vote to allow my case to go to trial,” he said. “I look forward to having a new forum where I can prove my innocence.”
To proceed to trial, two-thirds of Assembly must vote in favor.
In a two-minute press conference, Attorney General Carlos Baca said he will ask the National Assembly to act swiftly. “I am in agreement with the conclusions of prosecutor Salazar that the evidence exists to proceed with the case based on the crime of unlawful association,” Baca said. “I am requesting the the Assembly vote quickly so this matter can be resolved in court.”
In preparing her indictment, Salazar cited several major projects in which evidence suggests Glas “worked in his self-interest.” Among them are the Pascua-Cuenca pipeline, the Manduriacu hydroelectric plant, The Pacific oil refinery, and the Esperanza aqueduct. The Brazilian construction company Odebrecht was involved in all four projects.
According to Baca, the key evidence in the case is an audio tape of a conversation between Odebrecht manager José Conceição Santos and Ricardo Rivera, Glas’ uncle. Rivera was arrested in June, accused of accepting tens-of-millions of dollars in bribes.
In the conversation, Santos and Rivera discuss money that Glas is demanding from Odebrecht.
If legal action against is approved by the Assembly, Glas will join 10 other suspects in the Odebrecht case.