Interpol rejected Ecuador’s “Red Notice” request against ex-President Rafael Correa considering it incompatible with human rights, as made public by the National Court of Justice on Wednesday.
Ecuador's ex-President Correa Complies With Judge's Request, Reports to Belgian Consulate Due to 'Balda Case'
The document, received by National Judge Daniella Camacho, explains that the process can’t continue due to the legal situation in Ecuador.
“After carefully examining every element related to the legal situation of the requesting country, the information available to the Commission revealed that keeping the data in the Information System of Interpol was not compatible with Interpol’s responsibility to guarantee effective cooperation between police authorities in the context of ‘respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Interpol’s Status Art. 2),” declared Interpol in the official statement.
The international organization first rejected the request in October, arguing that there was not enough evidence involving Correa with the kidnapping of the former opposition lawmaker Fernando Balda. But Ecuadorean authorities declared back then they had not received any official notice.
The former president, who lives in Belgium with his family since his term ended in 2017, claims the case is a set up by forces opposed to his administration.
“It’s very grave for the country that Interpol rejected the ‘justice’ petition because it’s against human rights,” tweeted Correa after news broke out. “This is only the beginning. We will defeat them in all international courts where there are not ‘deputies’ or corrupt press.”
Ecuador requested the Red Notice on Correa for his pre-trial arrest in July 2018, but the case has been plagued with irregularities. Trials have been suspended due to “technical issues,” and the ex-Attorney General Paul Perez Reina, who was supposed to gather information and prepare the case against Correa, resigned on November 14 citing personal reasons. Now, the current deputy attorney is also investigating Perez Reina.
According to Correa’s Ecuadorean lawyer, Caupolican Ochoa, there is no evidence against Correa. “The general attorney can't take this to trial,” Ochoa told the press in October. Correa responded via Twitter asking if maybe the national court feared the presence of international observers.
Correa and supporting politicians claim to be the target of political persecution by the government of Lenin Moreno, a former ally of Correa. On November 7, judge Camacho called for a trial against Correa and other three accused of kidnapping former lawmaker Fernando Balda in Bogota in August 2012. Colombian authorities intervened immediately, released Balda from his raptors and extradited him to Ecuador to face pending legal issues.
The legal process against Correa can’t continue without his physical presence in Ecuador, but the ex-president refuses to attend citing security concerns.