At 12:42, left the Women’s Prison of Guayaquil, Carolina Lorena Astudillo Santos, former secretary of the law firm of Carlos Pareja Cordero, who on the afternoon of this last Wednesday was declared innocent of the crime of money laundering by the Special Chamber of Criminal of the Provincial Court of Justice of Guayas.
Thus, the judges of the Criminal Chamber gave way to appeal to the sentence of 17 years that the Criminal Court of Duran imposed against Astudillo in December last year. Judges Irene Amores, Manuel Suárez and Fabiola Gallardo, in their resolution, validated the actions of the justice operators who acted in the arraignment hearing that ended in the preventive detention of Carolina Astudillo; but, in what has to do with the materiality of the crime, they questioned the performance of the Office of the Prosecutor, represented in the diligence by Ivonne Proaño.
According to the Criminal Chamber, the Prosecutor’s Office violated due process and at the trial hearing did not present the documentary evidence of the criminal offense attributed to Carolina Astudillo, 57, who suffers from skin cancer since 2012.
Based on the testimonies of the experts of the Financial and Economic Analysis Unit (UAFE) and accountants, the Criminal Chamber called the prosecution’s performance illogical because it never established a relationship between the company that transferred $ 179,000 for the purchase of a piece of land on the road to Samborondón and Carolina Astudillo, who worked as secretary of the law firm of Carlos Pareja Cordero, cousin of Carlos Pareja Yannuzzelli, former energy minister, implicated in Petroecuador’s acts of corruption.
The judges warned that it was never shown that the sum indicated had illicit origins. Likewise, it was ratified that the transfer of the sum that occurred in July 2011 is not related to the acts of corruption that occurred in the state oil company between 2012 and 2016, from which the money for the purchase of the land had allegedly come out, as it maintained without evidence the UAFE.
Carlos Sanchez, attorney for Carolina Astudillo, will now await the decision of this and his family to file demands for compensation and dismissal of all justice operators who accused his client of money laundering without evidence.
Francisco Martínez, husband of Carolina Astudillo, thanked God for the freedom of his wife. “What I want now is to be with her and to be able to embrace everyone as a family.” (I)