Ecuadorean judge Daniella Camacho has ordered former president Rafael Correa to be put in preventative detention for alleged corruption. He currently resides in Belgium.
Judge Daniella Camacho has issued a preventive detention order against former President Rafael Correa and former vice president Jorge Glas for the 2012-2016 "Bribes" case.
The same decision was made against Glas and former ministers Vinicio Alvarado and Walter Soliz. They are being accused of crimes of illicit association, influence peddling and bribery of 22 former politicians and business owners.
"I order the preventive detention ... to ensure the appearance (of Correa) at trial," Camacho read in her ruling against Correa and the four other former state officials.
The prosecutor's office alleges Correa took kickbacks for his electoral campaigns as Alianza Pais leader in exchange of infrastructure works contracts. The judge also issued preventive detention against former Vice President Jorge Glas, who is serving a six-year sentence for supposedly taking bribes in the Odebrecht case in Ecuador.
In addition, the judge requested that Interpol be notified to capture former officials who are outside the country, including Correa. For the rest of the defendants, he prohibited his departure from the country and the retention of his bank accounts. Prosecutors said in their indictment that the investigation has identified a deposit of US$6,000 that Correa received once to his personal bank account. State attornies can't trace where those funds came from.
"I had a recurring overdraft, and I borrowed US$6,000 from the solidarity fund that we had at the presidency (from our contributions) and paid it back to the last penny (I have checks of US$500 per month). Don't be ridiculous," Correa explained on his Twitter account. Correa supporters who want the former leader to run again for the Carondalet say this is another tactic to prevent his possible bid for presidency.
The former head of state has denied the accusations and has said this is about President Lenin Moreno, his political heir and first term vice president who has turned 180 degrees away from Correa's socialist-leaning policies, taking solace in loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States administration under Donald Trump since taking office in May 2017.
Correa's lawyers say they are appealing the order and they say the request to Interpol for his arrest will "surely be rejected" because the indictment comes down to a loan of US$6,000 that was already paid back.
In July 2018, Ecuadorean officials ordered a different preventive detention order against the ex-president for allegedly being involved in a kidnapping of an opposition politician.
Rafael Correa and his lawyers say the proceedings against him are a political and media show controlled by the neoliberal government of Lenin Moreno, as well as a case of "lawfare" designed to sideline popular political leaders by right-wing forces, such as former Brazilian President Lula da Silva.