Ecuador legislative council confirms political trial proceedings vs. Glas

    17 de diciembre de 2017

    Quito, Dec 17 (efe-epa).- Ecuador's Legislative Administrative Council (CAL) on Sunday confirmed legal proceedings against Vice President Jorge Glas, who has been divested of his official duties and sentenced to six years in prison for alleged illicit association in the Odebrecht corruption case.

    After complying with "due process" and the appropriate legal and constitutional deadlines, the CAL acknowledged that Glas's political trial had been sent to the Constitutional Court, according to the head of the National Assembly, Jose Serrano.

    He added that the Constitutional Court ruling will be sent to Parliament so that the appropriate measures may be continued against Glas.

    Last Wednesday, a court sentenced Glas to six years behind bars.

    Glas has been jailed since Oct. 2 in Quito and shortly thereafter, President Lenin Moreno appointed Maria Alejandra Vicuña to be acting vice president and take over for Glas if he remains absent from his post for more than 90 days.

    The Odebrecht case concerns bribes paid by Brazilian construction giant in many Latin American countries, including Ecuador, to obtain public works contracts.

    The court deemed credible testimony from former Odebrecht executive Jose Conceicao Santos that Glas was instrumental in a bid-rigging conspiracy involving five major infrastructure projects.

    The vice president's uncle, Ricardo Rivera, and three other defendants were likewise sentenced to six years, while one of the accused was acquitted.

    "Barbaric" was the word Glas' attorney, Eduardo Franco Loor, used to describe the verdict when he spoke to reporters outside the courthouse, where hundreds of supporters and opponents of the vice president were trading insults and - sometimes - blows.

    His client has no intention of resigning the vice presidency and will appeal the court's decision, Franco said.

    Glas, who was convicted for events that took place during his 2010-2012 tenure as minister for Strategic Sectors, was elected vice president earlier this year on a ticket headed by Moreno, but the two men fell out soon after the new administration took office.

    Amid a deepening rift within the governing center-left Alianza Pais party, Glas accused Moreno of seeking to undo the legacy of predecessor Rafael Correa, who governed Ecuador for a decade.

    Moreno relieved Glas of his duties in August and the vice president was indicted within weeks.