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A judge in Ecuador (R) at the hearing against ex-President Correa A judge in Ecuador (R) at the hearing against ex-President Correa  (AFP)

Former president of Ecuador given 8 years in prison, in absentia

Rafael Correa, the former president of Ecuador, has been sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison on corruption charges.

By James Blears

A criminal court in Ecuador's capital, Quito, announced the verdict, sentencing ex-President Rafael Correa and 19 other people. 

The Judge says the case has been sufficiently proved that they accepted 7.5 million dollars worth of bribes from national and international companies for state-run construction projects.

But Rafael Correa has not been hauled away to jail, as he now lives in Belgium. 

Ecuadorian Authorities issued an arrest warrant and extradition proceedings for him. But Interpol says that this is a political rather than a criminal case.

Rafael Correa who's denied all the charges, described the case as "monstrous," from enemies who are trying to exact revenge, after failing at the ballot box.

He's also saying he will win the case against him on international appeal levels, but this will take a while. The time factor is important in another sense, because part of the sentence bans 57-year-old Correa from engaging in politics for the next twenty-five years.

During his ten years as President of Ecuador, he used oil revenue and international loans to significantly bolster social programs, as well as improving infrastructure nationwide.

08 April 2020, 17:36