The trial preparatory hearing that began today against the ex-president of Ecuador Rafael Correa, for his presumed intellectual authorship in the frustrated kidnapping of former deputy Fernando Balda, was postponed to Friday due to an irregularity in the foliation of the file.
This was ruled by the judge of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court of Justice (CNJ) of Quito Daniella Camacho, after calling the attention of the Attorney General for the aforementioned irregularity.
The session will be reinstated on September 21 at 1:00 pm local time (18:00 GMT).
“My lawyer informed me that there were certain faults in the foliation of the file but that this could be corrected. I have personally asked him to ask the judge today to suspend the hearing, “Balda explained to the media, who acts as private accuser.
The opposition politician argued that although his defense has total security and probative documents that demonstrate “the guilt of Rafael Correa as the intellectual author of the kidnapping,” he does not want that “those foliation errors will not allow him to exercise his legitimate technical defense”.
For his part, Correa’s lawyer, Caupolicán Ochoa, regretted the decision to postpone the process, which he attributed to an “improper action by the Prosecutor’s Office.”
Judge Camacho gave the parties a period of 48 hours to review the documentation and admonished prosecutors for delivering two absentee rulings in favor of two of the defendants at the hearing today, the former police officer Jorge Espinoza and the ex-director of intelligence of the Fausto Tamayo Police.
In this sense, Correa’s lawyer argued that this type of absentee opinion “should be for all the accused” and struck down the judge’s performance of “snubbing those who want to see this type of process resolved.”
For his part, Espinoza and Tamayo’s lawyer, Israel Moreno, defended that his clients did not have “responsibility” in the events that took place in Colombia when former deputy Balda was kidnapped and that this is confirmed in the anticipated testimony given by another of the defendants, the ex-policeman Raúl Chicaiza.
Regarding the postponement of the hearing, he indicated that “it was evident that it had to be suspended” in order to “comply with the procedural ritual and, moreover, guarantee the right of the parties to the proceedings”.
In addition to Rafael Correa, the other five defendants in this case are the intelligence ex agents Raúl Chicaiza; Diana Falcón and Jorge Espinoza, in preventive prison since last March; the former national secretary of intelligence Pablo Romero, who is in Spain and the former intelligence director of the Fausto Tamayo Police.
Correa, who has denounced being the target of political persecution and lack of judicial independence in Ecuador, is currently in Belgium and weighs a warrant for preventive detention and international arrest for failure to appear in court last July by Judge Camacho. (I)