After a four-hour hearing, Judge Francisco Mendoza, who operates in Samborondón-Guayas, suspended the preparatory trial proceeding against former Minister Iván Espinel.
He is investigated for the alleged crime of laundering, which is followed by the Attorney General’s Office. This is the second time the process has been delayed.
The first was on August 28. On that occasion, the judicial meeting was postponed because on the same day the diligence was to be carried out for embezzlement, which is also carried out against the former minister.
The trial preparatory hearing began at 10:00 yesterday (Tuesday, September 11, 2018). However, during the procedural validity stage, the Anti-Money Laundering Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor requested the judge to review the revocation of the preventive detention that allowed the release of the former public official since July 23 and dictated alternative measures such as the use of the electronic shackle and prohibition of leaving the country.
That measure, issued by Judge Paola Dávila, also benefited Walter Andrade, another of the defendants in the case and who came yesterday. In that first instance they had to review the evidence of the Prosecutor’s Office to bring Espinel to trial.
Despite this, the defendant’s defense tried to emphasize the evidence in which a nullity in the due process would be evidenced. Among those evidences are the investigative skills that supposedly took place outside the times notified by the authorities that take the case.
However, the prosecutor Ivonne Proaño refuted that the decision of Judge Dávila on that occasion was oral and requested a review of the audio of the hearing. Proaño also indicated that the release card of the former minister of the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion has been uploaded to the system before the summary of the sentence.
And that said measure was never supposedly notified to the parties. At 12:40 the judge requested a break of one hour to review the hearing audio to determine a decision. Later, at 2:01 pm, he reinstated the hearing and ruled the suspension of the hearing because the judge’s recording lasted three hours and six minutes. The next call is not defined. (I)