Bucaram was dismissed from the government in 1997 and remained a fugitive from Ecuadorean justice for 20 years in Panamá until his trial expired.
On June 4 the Prosecutor's Office in Guayaquil announced that the former president was placed under house arrest for smuggling weapons, following a raid on his home related to suspected embezzlement in the purchase of medical supplies for a state social security hospital during the health crisis.
According to the authorities thousands of masks and tests to diagnose COVID-19, as well as a pistol with 200 bullets, whose "legal possession he could not justify," were found in Bucaram´s home.
#AHORA | #Guayas: se instala audiencia de evaluación y preparatoria de juicio contra el expresidente Abdalá B. O., en la Unidad Judicial Albán Borja, en #Guayaquil. #FiscalíaEc lo procesa, en este caso, por presunto delito de tráfico ilícito de armas de fuego y municiones. pic.twitter.com/Af7qa1iKUP
NOW | #Guayas: an evaluation and preparatory hearing for the trial against former President Abdalá B. O. is installed in the Albán Borja Judicial Unit, in #Guayaquil. # FiscalíaEc processes him, in this case, for the alleged crime of illicit trafficking in firearms and ammunition."
Later on June 13, the Ecuadorean justice ordered the arrest of two of the sons of the former President, Dalo, and Michel as part of investigations for alleged corruption in hospitals during the pandemic.
The hearing in the Alban Borja Judicial Unit, in Guayaquil, is the preliminary step to a trial related to arms trafficking.
As Bucaram already has a ban to leave the country, Judge Francisco Mendoza ordered that the measures of house arrest and use of the electronic shackle has to be maintained, to secure the attendance of Bucaram at the trial.
His defense says that the gun was a gift given to Bucaram by the army when he was President.
While in exile in Panama, Bucaram had been detained for drug possession although he was not convicted. During his last term in office, his government had several scandals over corruption and mismanagement until social protests forced them out of office in 1997.