Ecuador: Court asks the Assembly for authorization to prosecute the vice president

QUITO – The National Court of Justice of Ecuador asked the Assembly on Wednesday for authorization to criminally prosecute Vice President Verónica Abad, who has court immunity, after the Attorney General's Office requested that she be linked to a corruption case initiated against her. son.

National judge Daniela Camacho ordered that a request be sent to engineer Henry Kronfle, president of the Assembly, “so that within a period of no more than 48 hours, the legislative body can proceed to issue the corresponding statement regarding the authorization for criminal prosecution†of Abad.

Camacho made such a request to the Assembly because the vice president has the immunity of the National Court and can only be prosecuted if at least 92 of the 137 legislators authorize it.

The initial charge in this case was offer of influence peddling, but it can be changed to concussion, which involves demanding funds or contributions using an office.

Last Monday, the attorney general's office assured that there is sufficient evidence to involve Abad in this process. “The alleged participation of Verónica Abad in this case was determined,” said the public ministry, after investigations such as expanding the complainant's version, obtaining documentation and telephone information.

“Alleged corruption”

The case arose, according to the prosecution, after a former vice presidential official denounced the official's son, Francisco Barreiro, and another person for having offered him a high position for which he had to pay 1,700 dollars of a monthly salary of 3,200 dollars. As a guarantee of payment, the complainant signed a promissory note for $30,600.

A week ago, the vice president responded electronically to a call from the prosecutor's office regarding the case of alleged corruption in which her son is being tried, but she did not answer questions, among other reasons, according to her defense, because it was not explained to her whether she had been summoned. as a witness or suspect.

In this case, the vice president's son was detained since March 21 for nearly 45 days in a maximum security prison, from where he was released after paying $20,000 bail.

While waiting for a response from the legislators, the National Court summoned Barreiro and Daniel Redrován (close to the vice president) for next week to an oral, public and contradiction hearing, reformulation of charges and link to the investigation stage fiscal.

The case was in charge of prosecutor Carlos Alarcón and Judge María Fernanda Castro, but due to Abad's jurisdiction, on Monday they decided to send it to the Attorney General's Office and the National Court, respectively.

The vice president has been in Israel since December, fulfilling the duties of ambassador by appointment of President Daniel Noboa, with whom she maintains a tense distance that began at the time of the campaign and worsened after coming to power on November 23 of the year. ±o past. The reasons for the breakup have not been explained.