The Secretariat of Anticorruption of the Presidency of Ecuador has asked to investigate the judges of the Criminal Guarantees Court of the province of Guayas (south) who last week absolved former Minister Iván Espinel accused of alleged corruption.
“We make an appeal and call the Judicial Council and the administration of justice to act in a responsible manner and that these corruption cases have a special follow-up,” says a statement from the newly created Anti-Corruption Secretariat, under the presidency of Lenin Moreno .
The case alludes to the sentence of innocence dictated in favor of Iván Espinel, former Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion and who was accused of embezzlement of his time as director of the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS), between 2013 and 2014.
Espinel was exonerated from the crime of embezzlement in the management of several contracts with private clinics that allegedly benefited from exaggerated payments for their interventions, damaging the State.
The former minister has pending two alleged crimes for money laundering and illicit enrichment for those facts, for which he has not yet been tried.
“We will be vigilant to the processes for money laundering and illicit enrichment that Espinel maintains because we will not allow judges to make fun of Ecuadorian society,” said the Anti-Corruption Secretariat.
Since he took office in May 2017, Moreno has launched a crusade against corruption and numerous cases of prosecution against former officials of the previous administration of Rafael Correa, to which he himself belonged as vice president.
Like Espinel, seven other people were exonerated from the crime of embezzlement in the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS).
Before the complaints, in a communiqué released on Saturday, the Council of the Judicature said that “judicial independence, both internal and external, is a principle and a constitutional mandate” and that as a body of government, administration, monitoring and discipline of that function “cannot intervene in the administration of justice”.
However, he warned that “never allow corruption or impunity in the Judiciary” and that its members monitor the “appeal of the Attorney General of the State” on the case.
He concluded by stating that he has instructed the national Transparency and Procedural Management directorates, “to initiate the corresponding investigations in order to determine the existence or not of administrative irregularities in the processing of this case.”
The case of Espinel and the other defendants was opened following a report from the Comptroller General of the State, which established indications of criminal responsibility in the contracting by the IESS of services in private clinics between July 2012 and August 2015. (I)