February 9, 2023

Judge orders former Vice President Glas in Ecuador. Government says he will not be released

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(CNN Spanish) –– The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, reported this Monday that Judge Banny Molina, from the coastal city of Portoviejo, extended a habeas corpus appeal in favor of Jorge Glas, former vice president of the country. Glas is serving two sentences for corruption of six and eight years in prison for the crimes of illicit association and aggravated bribery, respectively, linked to the Odebrecht bribery scheme.

Molina ordered the “immediate release” of Glas, held in Prison 4 in Quito and who has been in prison since 2017.

According to the Government, the resolution was surprising. “This suddenly appeared in the Ecuadorian Automatic Judicial Processing System (SATJE) today,” reads the statement shared by President Lasso.

In addition, the statement indicates that neither the State Attorney General’s Office nor the Service for the Attention of Persons Deprived of Liberty (SNAI) were summoned. And, therefore, they could not participate in the hearing, which constitutes “another irregularity”, according to the government.

The Council of the Judiciary, the governing, administrative, surveillance and disciplinary body of the judicial function, reported that Judge Molina acted “without jurisdiction” in his resolution in favor of the former vice president, since a trial for alleged crime of criminal offense weighs against him. prevarication in a different judicial process.

The Judiciary emphasized that it will act “with absolute firmness” within the scope of its powers. He also reported that Fausto Murillo, director of the judicial institution, filed a complaint on Tuesday for the alleged crime of “usurpation of functions” against Judge Molina, who granted habeas corpus to Glas.

The government recalled that there is another habeas corpus related to Jorge Glas, which is being processed in the appeal phase before the Provincial Court of Pichincha. In that sense, he indicated that other judges already have the competence to resolve it.

President Lasso emphasized in the statement that the state institutions will file legal remedies and “will not make any decision to release any citizen that violates the legal system and contributes to the judicial anarchy to which some judges are trying to lead us.”

Last April, a Manglaralto judge granted Glas a habeas corpus. But, more than a month after leaving the Latacunga prison, Glas returned to prison because the legal remedy was annulled and the judge who granted it was dismissed.

According to the judicial resolution of this Monday, the judge declares that Jorge Glas’s rights to health and physical integrity were violated, since he considers that he has medical conditions that have not been treated in a specialized manner.

CNN has tried to contact Edison Loaiza, defense attorney for Glas.

The Prosecutor’s Office told CNN that it will wait to receive a notification of the resolution issued this Monday to rule on the matter.

The Service for Attention to Persons Deprived of Liberty (SNAI) told CNN that it will prepare a statement if a formal request arrives at the institution for the release of the former vice president.





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