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After Interpol refused to issue the red notice on Correa due to the pending kidnapping case, Fernando Balda opted for other strategy.
The Ecuadorean former lawmaker Fernando Balda has filed yet another lawsuit against ex-President Rafael Correa, now accusing him of redirecting state funds for his alleged kidnapping attempt in Bogota.
Balda claims that Correa, along with the former intelligence secretaries Pablo Romero and Rommy Vallejo, that former interior minister Jose Serrano and other four public servants, used about US$500,000 from public funds to order his kidnapping in the neighboring country in 2012.
Correa had already been called into trial for the kidnapping attempt, which he claims is a fabricated case aimed at dismantling the most popular leftist movement in Ecuador. Correa now lives in Belgium with his wife and children and has repeatedly said he is willing to present himself at Ecuador's Embassy there in order to comply with the legal process. Despite that a judge in Ecuador order preventive detention against the former president and the country requested an Interpol intervention. However, the Interpol has denied Ecuador’s red notice request, arguing the persecution is politically motivated.
“In the call for trial by Judge Daniella Camacho, a series of documents were admitted as valid evidence confirming that money of the Ecuadorean state was used to hire hit men and kidnappers in Colombia to attack me,” declared Balda to the press before filing the new complaint.
According to Balda, the money was redirected from the Presidency, the Police’s General Intelligence Direction and the National Intelligence Secretary, at the command of Correa.
The accusations state that the government used about US$237,686 as travel allowances for former intelligence agents Raul Chicaiza and Diana Falcon, as well as their lawyers. The remaining money, says Balda, has yet to be investigated.
If Correa doesn’t assist the trial, the kidnapping case would expire in 2022 or 2027, depending on which criminal code is applied by the justice system. But the charges for embezzlement, if the ex-President is found guilty, doesn’t expire in Ecuadorean law.
The new accusation is seen by Correa’s supporters as another attempt to jail him at all costs, while his opponents claim they’re using every legal possibility to make him responsible for his crimes.
Balda recently told members of the press that the Interpol might have been corrupted by Correa’s network, which is also discrediting the Ecuadorean justice system by saying it’s politically biased.
Balda, a former lawmaker with the right-wing opposition Patriotic Society party, was charged with conspiring to overthrow Correa's government as part of the failed September 2010 coup, which was led mainly by dissident police forces. However, he was in Colombia at the time of the charges and thus his prosecution was put on hold.
In October 2012, Balda was deported from Colombia because he had been in the country illegally. Early the following year, he was sentenced to one year in prison for threatening state security as well as giving false information which affected the honor of the state.