With the main suspect in Miami and an open investigation against prosecutor Carlos Baca, the sole accuser, today will begin the trial preparatory hearing against former Comptroller Carlos Pólit, allegedly for having received $ 10.1 million from the Odebrecht construction company.
As soon as the hearing is set up, Judge Luis Enríquez will have to know if Baca will be excused, or not, from participating as sole accuser. That would be the procedure after the defense of Polit yesterday asked to abandon the case for having expressed “manifest enmity” against the former Comptroller.
The lawyer of Pólit and ex-adviser of the Comptroller, Hernán Ulloa, considered that Baca has “lost the impartiality and objectivity” within the process.
The others linked to the process are his son John Pólit Esteves (also based in Miami) and businessmen Mauricio Neme Macchiavello and Estéfano Isaías Dassum.
The main witness of the case is José Conceição Santos, former executive of the construction company, who has delivered audios and messages of his conversations with Polit, as well as a copy of some bank transfers. He is emphatic in stating that he gave more than $ 10 million to the then comptroller.
In his confession before the Brazilian prosecutors to obtain the reduction of his sentence, Santos detailed the payments made to Pólit, whose mission at the head of the Comptroller’s Office was to oversee the management of public funds.
The Structured Journalistic Research Network, led by IDL-Reporters and of which EL UNIVERSO newspaper is a part, had access to the declaration of Saints, signed with number 5 and made on December 15, 2016. Accompanied by their lawyers, Santos divided his statement on payments to Polit in two moments.
The first was for the return of Odebrecht to Ecuador after the problem with the San Francisco hydroelectric dam, which led to the company’s expulsion in September 2008. He noted that upon arriving in Ecuador in March or April 2010, he had contact with Juan Marchán, who was the person who organized the first of his many meetings with Polit. Until now, Marchán’s complete identity is not known, nor is it known whether the prosecution has taken his version.
This occurred in the suite of the then controller in tower A of the Swissôtel. Santos said Polit told him he disagreed with the results of the Comptroller’s exams, but that he had been pressured by President Rafael Correa. Polit advised him to reach an agreement with the government first and then he could review the glosses.
With that mission, Santos said he had met with the coordinating minister of Strategic Sectors, Galo Borja Pérez, and with the board members of Hidropastaza, Miguel Calahorrano Camino, René Ramírez and Andrés Chávez, as well as Ciro Morán, president of Hidroagoyán, shareholder majority of Hidropastaza. In another meeting at the home of Polit in the valley of Tumbaco, he told Santos that to review the opinions he had to pay him $ 6 million.
The former executive, whose name also appears in the glosses, said he gave the money between 2010 and 2011 in cash. Everything was approved by his boss Luiz Antonio Mameri. Between August 26 and September 1, 2010, in just seven days, the Comptroller’s office vanished the 21 glosses issued due to the problems of the San Francisco hydroelectric plant. The payment of $ 70.7 million was eliminated by signing nine resolutions. Carlos Pólit did not sign any of them. (I)