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The Ecuadorian National Court of Justice ratified in record time the sentence against former president Rafael Correa in an appeals court on Quito Monday afternoon.
Denouncing the bribery case as a setup, Correa, in an interview with Radio Majestad, said the judicial process was marred with several inconsistencies and irregularities, resulting in eight years in prison for aggravated bribery.
More importantly, the court officially annulled Correa's vice-presidential candidacy on the Andres Arauz ticket, preventing the economist and former head of state from seeking elected political office for the same amount of time.
The verdict against Correa and his other 15 co-defendants, who requested the appeal, means that the Citizen Revolution and Union for Hope Coalition must decide on a substitute to occupy the vice-presidential candidacy.
With two judges in favor of the charges and one voting against them, the court broke record time in addressing the decision's appeal, usually taking more than three months for a process of this magnitude.
Finalmente lo lograron. En tiempo récord sacan sentencia “definitiva” para inhabilitarme como candidato No entienden que lo único que hacen es aumentar el apoyo popular Yo estaré bien. Denle toda la solidaridad a perseguidos allá Recuerden: a lo único que nos condenan es a vencer pic.twitter.com/3XKCPBh3Bi
While many constitutional scholars debate the possibility of Correa being barred from Ecuadorian public office for life due to this conviction, with a legal basis in the 2018 constitutional reforms, what is clear is the politicized and fraudulent nature of the ongoing judicial attack against Correa and his political movement.
Insisting there is no concrete evidence against him, Correa assured that he does not expect anything from the Ecuadorian justice system these days, adding "there may be honest judges, but in Ecuador's current circumstances, heroic judges are needed."
Over the next week, the convicted co-defendants will be able to request clarification about the sentence, which will then be carried out and remitted to the National Electoral Council (CNE), which then shall prohibit all, including Correa, from registering their candidacy for public office.