The draft Anti-Corruption Law approved by the National Assembly, with 107 votes, “did not help” the government’s strategy in its anti-corruption purpose.
That was one of the arguments used by the Executive to totally veto the bill approved on August 14, which proposed the advance confiscation of property, made changes to Article 370 of the Comprehensive Criminal Code on illicit association and nullified the prerequisite of the Comptroller’s report to initiate inquiries.
Johana Pesántez, legal secretary of the Presidency, said that these are technical and legal reasons that led the regime to veto the bill because “it really was not a law that in itself helped us with this strategy proposed by the national government in the fight against corruption”.
He added that what was approved by the Legislature had certain legal characteristics that could lead the justice operator to create a series of “confusions” within the application to it; and also lengthened certain procedural stages that were not necessary.
He indicated that the objected bill sought a confiscation without sentence when confiscation in itself is a penalty; therefore, “how can a seizure occur if there is no sentence?” he asked.
President Lenin Moreno announced last night that he submitted a new draft Anticorruption Law to the National Assembly. The announcement was made just when the deadline for the Executive to pronounce on the legal body expired. This after the accusations of César Montúfar, private accuser of former Vice President Jorge Glas, who indicated that the document would benefit the former president
Pesántez was in charge of presenting the anticorruption and protection of the whistleblower project in Parliament, which complements those reforms that the Executive presented on the seizure of property and the extinction of ownership.
The official stressed that the new proposal proposes the protection of the complainant and the economic reward for those who provide effective information to recover the stolen money.
Effective cooperation is proposed for the whistleblower and a period of 90 days is established so that people who know that they own assets that are not their own but of third parties.
In the Assembly, members of the Justice Commission questioned the veto, and according to its president, Marcela Aguiñaga, it is regrettable that the Executive has echoed “certain politicians” who seek the media to obtain revenues and confuse what is really approved as a reform in the criminal offense.
Lourdes Cuesta (CREO) said that the approval at no time tried to benefit former Vice President Jorge Glas, sentenced for this crime, as stated by César Montúfar, ex-legislator
Henry Cucalón (PSC) said that while the Executive has the right to veto a project, I hope it was not for something that “is an infamy to say that a law has been made to benefit Jorge Glas.”
The Executive project proposes an economic compensation of up to 20% of what the State can recover for the person who provides data, instruments, effects, goods or accurate, true and verifiable information that contribute to the investigation, location and recovery of assets obtained illegally. The economic compensation will be applicable for those cases in which state resources are involved or that have been obtained to the detriment of the State.
The Executive’s proposal guarantees the protection and even a public acknowledgment to the public servant who denounces acts of corruption duly substantiated and who verifies the veracity of the fact.
The bill establishes the attribution of the State to exercise immediately the right of repetition against the persons responsible for the damage caused, without prejudice to civil, criminal and administrative responsibilities. When a conviction is reformed or revoked, the State will make reparation to the person who has suffered a penalty as a result of such sentence, and will repeat it against those who formulated it. (I)