After two hours of deliberation, the Court of Pichincha declared the innocence of the ex-assemblyman Cléver Jiménez and of the activist Fernando Villavicencio, who were being prosecuted for the crime of disclosure of confidential information. This decision was made after the fiscal abstention.
At around 3:30 pm, jubilation broke out among the defendants’ companions when Deputy Prosecutor Thania Moreno announced her decision not to charge them. After this abstention, the Court composed of Sylvia Sánchez, Luis Enríquez and Édgar Flores analyzed the case.
Villavicencio described as crucial for him and Ecuadorian journalism that the prosecutor Moreno has not accused. He insisted that confidential information was never presented in his report.
“It is a historic day, because it not only gives me back my personal freedom, but we hope that it will end seven years of systematic persecution of the government of Rafael Correa.” This is also a mark that from this fact and others, Ecuador returns to recover independence of justice and the role of the Office of the Prosecutor is no longer to persecute those who think differently or write differently, “said Villavicencio.
The Court also ordered the lifting of all precautionary measures that weigh on Villavicencio and Jiménez.
This morning, the hearing began delayed, after a recess of 20 minutes that served to remove the electronic devices placed on the ankles of the defendants Cléver Jiménez and Fernando Villaviciencio.
While technicians of the Ministry of Justice withdrew the electronic shackle, the lawyers of the defendants and the Prosecutor’s Office discussed the possibility of probative agreements to continue with the hearing.
The presence of four witnesses and 13 experts was planned.
Former Vice President Jorge Glas was on the list of witnesses, as well as ex-Attorney Diego Garcia and former Secretary of the Presidency Alexis Mera, who does not arrive at the hearing despite having been summoned as a witness of the Prosecutor’s Office.
Initially Moreno in his theory of the case said that Jiménez, in a press release, and Villavicencio, in a journalistic note, collected parts of emails regarding the Chevron issue, which were exchanged by the then State Attorney, Diego García, the President Rafael Correa and the Secretary of the Presidency, Alexis Mera.
In the first part of the hearing, only ex-Attorney Diego Garcia gave his testimony. The parties dispensed with the rest of the testimonies, including that of Glas. After a break, the diligence was resumed at 3:00 p.m.
Prosecutor Thania Moreno had indicated that Mera was important for the theory of the case. The former secretary of the presidency of Rafael Correa accompanied a diligence in the Office of the Attorney General of Guayaquil to the brothers Vinicio and Fernando Alvarado.
The former prosecutor, who was a public official until January 2018, assured that Jiménez and Villavicencio had paraphrased and taken literal pieces of three emails that he exchanged in 2013 with Correa and Mera, regarding the Ecuadorian State’s defense strategy and an alleged conflict of interests in hiring a foreign lawyer. (I)