Ecuador’s Supreme Court has officially linked the Vice President Jorge Glas to a corruption case and barred him from leaving the country.
Ecuador National Assembly Debates Corruption Investigation Against Vice President
Judge Miguel Jurado Fabara made the ruling following a request by the Attorney General Carlos Baca Mancheno.
11 people in total are now under investigation following the court’s decision.
An order has been issued for the pre-trial detention of four of the suspects. Two others, including the former Ecuadorean Attorney General Carlos Polit, have been placed under house arrest. Polit has been in the U.S. since May.
17 people are already being probed for their alleged involvement in the corruption scandal involving Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction firm accused of offering bribes in exchange for government contracts.
On Friday, Ecuador’s National Assembly voted to authorize Glas’s criminal prosecution.
The Vice President had asked the legislators from his party, Alianza Pais, who form the majority of the legislative branch, to vote in favor of allowing Baca’s request to investigate him.
"There I will prove my innocence. I don’t have anything to hide," Glas said.
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Glas has been implicated by a fugitive former oil minister, Carlos Pareja Yanuzzelli, also known as Capaya, for his alleged involvement with Odebrecht.
The Vice President has denied the allegations and said they are part of a smear campaign orchestrated by the media and the opposition.
Earlier this month, Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno relieved Glas of his duties but he did not lose his office.
The Vice President said it was "a clear retaliation" for his criticism of Moreno’s policies and also blamed pressure from "major businessmen and opposition leaders."