On January 16, 2012 the police of Milan (Italy) found cocaine hydrochloride in 80 mugs painted with the logo of the play ‘Ruga the Turtle’, that were sent on a diplomatic suitcase of the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry. However, according to the information collected by El Comercio newspaper and statements attributed to the Ambassador of Italy, Gianni Piccato, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador has made no official requests to his country about this event.
The diplomat stated that “Ecuadorian officials travelled to Milan on their own” to investigate the case. It should be noted that when a country requires legal assistance for an investigation procedure, there are two ways. The first is that the prosecution of a State go directly to his counterpart of the requested country. The second is that the process is carried out through diplomatic channels.
According to Galo Chiriboga, the Attorney General’s Office, did requested a direct order to request the collaboration with his Italian counterpart. For that “were used the diplomatic channels of the Embassy of Ecuador in Italy,” stated Picatto while Chiriboga said that on February 29 they requested to his Italian counterpart copies of the studies in Milan, a sample of the seized drugs and possibility of a journey from a prosecutor “to gather information.” However, a source at the Attorney General said that the statements of the five arrested in Italy have no procedural validity in Ecuador.
Finally, Chiriboga said last week that the case could be filed the upcoming January 21 since “it hasn’t’ been found any evidence of criminal responsibility…” In Quito nobody has been processed, even though a year has passed. Given these statements, Piccato said the decision to close the case or not is about the exclusive competence of the Ecuadorian authorities. “There has already been an outcome (in Italy) and defined things, but there could be something here (in Ecuador),” he emphasizes.