On the night of October 2, 2017, the then vice president without functions, Jorge Glas, entered the Prison No. 4 in Quito, from where he said he would prove his innocence. A year later, the former vice-president is serving a sentence of six years in prison for illicit association and is being investigated for possible bribery, embezzlement and organized crime.
These cases are related to the corruption plot of the Odebrecht construction company, in which payments of bribes to officials and overpricing of energy works were detected. In the General Prosecutor’s Office, cases of bribery and embezzlement are still active. But they are managed under reserve, and both advances and evidence are not public access.
However, a part of the evidence available to the Prosecutor’s Office is found in the judgment of the trial for illicit association. In that ruling, the judges of the National Court, Edgar Flores, Sylvia Sanchez and Richard Villagómez, said: “there are relevant acts that allow the conclusion of the participation of Jorge Glas Espinel, in crimes of bribery and embezzlement.” In the ruling, the court determined that Glas’s uncle, Ricardo Rivera, “made the illicit association viable” and that this action allowed Odebrecht to accede to bidding documents and bidding rules, in which he eventually became a contractor.
That happened with the Manduriacu plant, the Pacific Refinery, the La Esperanza aqueduct; the Daule-Vinces project and the construction of the Pascuales-Cuenca pipeline. In addition to bribery and embezzlement, Glas is also investigated for possible organized crime. This case emerges from the complaint presented by César Montúfar, leader of the Concertación movement and private accuser of Glas in the Odebrecht case.
The file is reserved, but the Prosecutor’s Office has already taken the first version of Montúfar. According to the politician, during the last decade officials of the previous government were part of a supposed criminal structure that facilitated committing other crimes: money laundering, illicit enrichment, influence peddling, etc.
For the defender of Glas, Eduardo Franco Loor, the Prosecutor’s Office does not have evidence against his client “because they simply do not exist”. The lawyer has reiterated that these investigations respond to a political persecution. Yesterday, he only explained that the new investigations against Glas cannot be developed because they start with a sentence that is not enforceable.
In August, Franco filed an appeal to invalidate that ruling. His argument was that the judges improperly applied the law. Today, the lawyer will visit the former official in Jail No. 4 and then report on the status of the case. Meanwhile, the Prosecutor’s Office also handles a file for possible money laundering in which Ricardo Rivera is being investigated. In this process, the former vice-president does not appear, but the Prosecutor General’s Office picked up the versions of Rivera’s ex-wife, Amparo Gómez. She assures that her ex-husband was the former vice president’s figurehead. (I)