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He is implicated in the Sinohydro case, which revolves around bribes received for the construction of the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant.
On Monday, Judge Mauricio Espinosa ordered that former President Lenin Moreno, who has been accused of corruption, must appear every month at the Ecuadorian Embassy in Paraguay, where he resides, as an alternative measure to the requested pretrial detention by the Prosecutor's Office.
Espinosa denied the Prosecutor's request for pretrial detention, which had been requested due to Moreno's failure to comply with other alternative measures imposed on March 5, including periodic appearances before the National Justice Court in Quito.
Moreno is implicated in a corruption scheme known as the Sinohydro case, which revolves around bribes received for the construction of the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant.
Espinosa also ordered Moreno's wife Rocio to appear before the authority "within the first 10 days of each month at the Ecuadorian diplomatic headquarters in Asunción, Paraguay."
The Public Prosecutor's Office clarified that this provision has been set "although it is not provided for by law." However, the magistrate ordered that the defendants "appear every four months before the Criminal Chamber of the National Court of Justice in Ecuador."
Washington throws their support behind AG Diana Salazar, who faces being removed from office for having plagiarized her law school thesis. An appointee of Lenin Moreno, Salazar has followed the Sergio Moro playbook and relentlessly persecuted leftist leaders. https://t.co/r0fSn5i3E0
The tweet reads, "U.S. Ambassador Mike Fitzpatrick: 'With my colleagues, we met with Attorney General Diana Salazar this morning. We reiterate our rejection of any violence or threat against institutions and their representatives, and our commitment to respect the institutions of the State'."
Former President Moreno, who had ruled out seeking asylum in Paraguay on March 9, has denounced being a victim of "political persecution" and claims that the process for alleged bribery against him was instituted for that reason.
Moreno, who is a commissioner of the Organization of American States (OAS) for Disability Affairs, did not refuse to undergo investigation in his country but stated that frequent travel outside of Asuncion could affect him given his disability.
Additionally, he criticized as "inhumane" the request from the Attorney General Diana Salazar, who had suggested the pretrial detention of eight other individuals accused in the same case, including his wife and his daughter Irina.
In total, there are 37 defendants accused in this case, in which the Prosecutor's Office estimates that the Chinese company Sinohydro paid approximately US$76 million in bribes.
The events allegedly took place when Moreno was serving as vice president during the presidential term of Rafael Correa (2007-2017), who is now his staunch political rival.