National Court of Justice Judge Daniella Camacho ruled Wednesday that former president Rafael Correa must return to Ecuador to face charges from a 2012 attempted kidnapping case. Correa is currently living in Belgium, his wife’s home country.
Camacho also ordered the former secretary of intelligence, Pablo Romero, and two intelligence agents to stand trial in the case. Romero, like Correa is out of the country and believed to be living in Spain, while the agents are in jail. The judge asked Interpol, the international police agency, to issue arrest warrants for Correa and Romero.
In her ruling, Camacho ordered that bank accounts belonging to Correa and Romero be frozen to cover possible reparation costs due to the defendant, Fernando Balda.
The case involves the attempted kidnapping of Balda, a supporter of Correa turned critic, in Bogota, Colombia in August 2012. According to prosecutors, the kidnapping was ordered personally by Correa. Colombian police foiled the plot and Balda was not captured by the Ecuadorian agents.
In June, Camacho had requested that Interpol issue a warrant for Correa’s arrest when the ex-president failed to appear at a court hearing in the case. That warrant has yet to be issued.