The Ecuadorian Attorney General’s Office announced today that it opened a criminal investigation against former President Rafael Correa and several of his collaborators, for a case related to the alleged non-compliance with requirements in the contracting of public debt when it exceeds a permitted limit.
The preliminary investigation initiated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office is based on a report of indications of criminal responsibility on public indebtedness, prepared by the Comptroller General of the State and handed over to the Prosecutor’s Office on April 9, the Public Ministry said in a statement.
This case is based on complaints about the declaration of reservation of documentation related to debt operations in the Correa period (2007-2017), in alleged irregularities in processes of anticipated oil sales and in the issuance of a decree that modified the calculation to determine the relationship between debt and gross domestic product (GDP).
For these reasons, the Prosecutor’s bulletin notes, “there would be irregularities in the use of internal and external public debt” in several entities during the Correa administration.
Especially “in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Central Bank of Ecuador, the National Secretariat of Planning and Development and other institutions related to the contracting and use of public resources from internal and external debt between January 1, 2012 and May 24, 2017, “the bulletin notes.
Correa, three former finance ministers and seven other public officials “would have acted by virtue of the state power of the charges they represented and would have failed to meet the requirements for hiring public debt once the limit was exceeded, in addition to not recording as debt operations of oil presale, “the prosecution added.
He clarified that, due to due process and considering that the current investigation is in its “pre-procedural phase”, the Attorney General will receive versions and information from the institutions appointed by the Comptroller’s Office.
The announcement of the Public Ministry came a few hours after the Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, a former Correa ex-religious and now bitter rival, asked the authorities of his country to verify the authenticity of a video about the supposed delivery of money from the former Colombian FARC guerrilla to the presidential campaigns of his predecessor.
“A moment ago we just saw a video, which the journalist Fernando del Rincón was telling me, in which he even evidences a witness of these protected that the FARC gave money for the campaigns of former President Correa,” Moreno said in an interview with Colombian news chain.
Correa, who has resided in Belgium since the middle of last year, after concluding his mandate, has justified the management of the public debt in his administration, which, according to him, has been endorsed by several internationally recognized bodies.
Likewise, he denied the extreme warning by his successor regarding the alleged financing of the FARC and went further, describing Moreno as “inept”.
“Has he heard that it was also HIS campaign? Even for that is he inept! You do not deceive anyone with your smoke screens, “Correa wrote in his Twitter account. (I)