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Cassation hearing for bribery case involving Ecuador ex-president to take place


Cassation hearing for bribery case involving Ecuador ex-president to take place

Photo: REUTERS/Daniel Tapia

Ecuador will today hold a cassation hearing for the bribery case involving former president Rafael Correa.

Correa was sentenced alongside his vice president Jorge Glas to eight years in prison earlier this year, on the grounds of accepting illegal corporate funds for his campaign in exchange for lucrative public works contracts. Correa, who currently resides in Belgium, has rejected the charges and blamed them on political pressure from former ally and incumbent President Lenin Moreno.

The cassation tribunal accepted Correa’s appeal alongside that of 14 other co-conspirators, including politicians and executives accused of aiding Correa in the scheme. Although Correa has announced his intention to run for vice president alongside Andrés Arauz—a longtime political ally—he would be ineligible for elected office and removed from the ticket should the tribunal ratify the sentence.

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While it is unclear how the tribunal will rule, the decision will undoubtedly shape the 2021 presidential election. Moreno’s approval ratings have fallen to 19% following last year’s protests and the economic fallout of COVID-19, making his re-election increasingly uncertain. Correa remains popular in the country, further boosting the prospects for a leftist presidential ticket and threatening an extension of Moreno’s leadership. An Arauz presidency would most likely mirror Correa’s, with an expansion of government expenses and a repudiation of Ecuador’s foreign debt.

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