Ecuador: Prosecutor Seeks to Link Ex-President Rafael Correa to Alleged 2012 Kidnapping


Ecuador’s Attorney General’s Office is attempting to involve former President Rafael Correa in the case investigating the kidnapping of former congressman Fernando Balda that occurred in August 2012 in Bogota, according to a communique released Monday.

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Attorney General Paul Perez sent the request on May 31 to the National Court of Justice, alleging Correa’s “participation” in the kidnapping, considered as a potential “state crime” involving state officials and public funds.

According to the investigation, the Ecuadorean Presidency would have approved the funds when Correa was in charge.

One day before the information was made public, Correa tweeted “Ecuador is completely out of law, they appointed in a totally illegal way a friend as the attorney general and asked him to send me to court on any ground. As a result, without any evidence, they will link me with the Balda case over… kidnapping!”

Perez also asked the National Assembly to give him the green light for a “criminal trial” within 72 hours, quoting as a precedent the previous request by the Supreme Court to allow the criminal trial of former President Jamil Mahuad.

He accused Correa of being the mastermind of the kidnapping, while Correa denied Saturday having sent to Colombia the former head of intelligence services Rommy Vallejo in order to carry out the kidnapping.

Fernando Balda, who is a former lawmaker with the right-wing opposition Patriotic Society party, was charged of conspiring to overthrow the government of Rafael Correa as part of the failed September 2010 coup against the former president which was led mainly by dissident police forces. However, he was in Colombia at the time of the charges and thus his prosecution was put on hold.

In October 2012 Balda was deported from Colombia, because he had been in the country without immigration permission and then he was required to face the charges against him on Oct. 25, 2012.

In January the following year he was convicted of the crime of threatening state security and a month later he was sentenced to one year in prison for that crime as well as giving false information which affected the honor of the state.


Latin America News


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