The Special Criminal Chamber of the Court of Justice of Guayas, unanimously declared innocent Carolina Lorena Astudillo Santos, ex-secretary of Carlos Pareja Cordero, against whom the Criminal Court of Durán had pronounced a sentence of 17 years for the crime of money laundering in December 2017.
The judge rapporteur, Fabiola Gallardo, in reading the decision of the Criminal Chamber, validated the performance of the judges who acted in the hearing of charges that ended in the order of preventive detention of Carolina Astudillo Santos; but as regards the materiality of the crime, she questioned the action of the Prosecutor’s Office that violated due process and at the trial hearing did not present the documentary evidence of the criminal offense attributed to Carolina Astudillo, 57 years old.
The Criminal Chamber also described the Prosecutor’s actions as “not very logical” based on the testimonies of the experts from the Financial and Economic Analysis Unit (UAFE) and the accounting experts, who did not establish a relationship between the company that transferred $ 179,000 for the purchase of land in Samborondón and Carolina Astudillo.
The three judges of the Chamber also warned that it was never shown that the transferred amount had illicit origins. In addition, it was confirmed that the date of the transfer that occurred in July 2011 is not related to the acts of corruption that took place in Petroecuador between 2012 and 2016, where supposedly, according to the UAFE, the money for the purchase of the land had left. (I)