The accusations and claims were about to deflect the underlying issue. Former President Rafael Correa spoke yesterday about the intergovernmental commission that he formed in 2012 to investigate the death of ex-commander of the Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE) Jorge Gabela, and of the conclusions to which he had access.
He did it before the new commission, created in the Assembly, to investigate the same case. It was through a video call, from Belgium.
Correa said that, according to the mechanism of work that was implemented in the commission, the ministers explained the analysis and conclusions that were arriving as the investigation progressed, but never had a physical report in their hands “because a President does not have the time to read 200 pages. “
He also clarified that the reports presented by the Argentine expert Roberto Meza Niella served as inputs for a broader document that was prepared by the members of the commission and that it concluded that the crime corresponded to an act of common crime. “We always had doubts, we were not validating the findings of the Prosecutor’s Office that it was common crime, but we could not fade those conclusions. We deliver the report to the Office of the Prosecutor for investigation, “he said. He also assured that the document was delivered to the Assembly, the Procurator’s Office and the general’s family.
He gave the reason to Gabela for opposing the purchase of Hindu helicopters Dhruv. “Yes, I think he was right, the helicopters were not good, but I do not know if for that reason the general is not there anymore,” he said.
The memory was clouded when Patricia Ochoa, Gabela’s widow, asked about three letters she sent to him through the ex-presidents of the Presidency Leonardo Berrezueta and Omar Simon, in which she informed him of “concealments and delays” in the investigation.
He also did not remember a letter that the former Security Minister Homero Arellano would have sent him. He said he did not know an audio that would have made him hear, at some point, the presidential ex-adviser Francisco Latorre. “I recommend that you talk to Latorre so he can tell you what he told me you knew,” Ochoa said at the end.
In the round of questions, the legislators clashed with the exmandatario and not precisely because of the Gabela case. That put in risk, in several occasions, the diligence.
Assemblyman Sebastián Palacios, of SUMA, started the round of questions explaining that he represents a new litter of young politicians who “are disgusted to see officials who got rich in recent years and corruption in the previous government.” Correa demanded that he say the names of the officials he referred to and warned to end the connection if he and his government were not respected.
He got up and, after a few seconds, returned with a glass of water. He said he was thirsty. And he did that twice more, before the astonished look of Patricia Ochoa.
He also confronted Assembly member Jeaninne Cruz, of CREO, and vice-president of the commission, Ángel Gende, who reminded him that for tsáchilas and indigenous peoples lying was a crime. “Enough of so many insinuations and speculations,” claimed Correa, who returned to thirst.
The expert Meza Niella also appeared before the Assembly and said he was willing to prepare a new expert report because he has almost all the details in his memory.
He assured that he delivered the third report and that there were the names of the possible intellectual authors of the crime of the former commander of the Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE). (I)