The legislator Sofía Espín assures that there is fear that it is known what the police said Diana F.; Esteban Bernal says that his colleague’s visit is incompatible with his position.
The denunciation of the azuayo legislator Esteban Bernal prosecuted the first investigation process against an assembly member in this period. His request was approved by the Council of the Legislature and a commission will be formed to investigate the visit of Sofia Espin to the police and protected witness Diana F.
Bernal also urged a resolution to question the actions of Espin, which won the support of 73 legislators last Thursday.
Why did you take the decision to lead the accusation against the Assemblywoman of the Citizen Revolution, Sofía Espín?
There are facts that must be clarified in the Assembly. Facts of individual character that generate an impact in the collective scope as an institution. There was the need to make a courageous decision to file a sworn complaint.
We have done it before the competent authority fulfilling the requirements to investigate these facts that are public.
Assemblywoman Espín says there were other legislators who also visited people deprived of their liberty, why did not they make the same decision?
There are particularities that I do not say, but the agent Diana F. herself, through her lawyer Diego Chimbo. She says she would have been pressured to change her version in exchange for offering protection at the UN and an asylum in Belgium.
To this we must add that he said that she was asked to accuse the Prosecutor of psychologically torturing her so that she could deliver her version. They are very serious facts and they are said by a person who received a normal visit. And the doubt increases after the Ministry of Justice said that this visit, in addition to the response of Diana F., was irregular, breaking the protocols and procedures. In the trial of Fernando Balda there was an event that caught our attention and it was that the presidential adviser Santiago Cuesta spoke with the lawyer of the former Secretary of Intelligence, Pablo Romero.
Don’t you think a similar case?
I immediately spoke on social networks rejecting that visit. I am going to ask Mr. Cuesta for pertinent information about that meeting, but we must differentiate, we Assemblymen are called to protect the independence of justice and to comply with the law. Cuesta is not an assembly member, Mrs. Espín, is and we are framed in a process of investigation that is supported by the Organic Law of the Judicial Function.
His resolution won by majority, but was not he surprised that so many legislators abstained from voting?
73 votes is a significant endorsement. The abstentions partly called my attention. I have said and I have made a pronouncement before, that it is painful that Alianza PAIS continues to be divided between those who want to fight corruption, expletives, unethical attitudes and among those who do not.
Obviously that was reflected in his vote. Here no one was imputing crime or accusing, we asked for an investigation into public events. On an incompatible visit of an assemblywoman with her position.
Why is it incompatible?
She will be able to visit whoever she wants, but at the moment that the one she visited, through her lawyer, states that she was pressured to change her version in exchange for protection and that she accuse the Prosecutor, that is to enter a level of unethical behavior, not acceptable to an assembly member and that is why we appeal to the Legislature to make a decision.
Do you hope that this investigation ends with the dismissal of the Assemblywoman of Citizen’s Revolution?
I want an in-depth investigation, I will not anticipate the facts, the plenary of the Assembly will decide whether or not to be sanctioned with the dismissal
Sofia Espín arrived at the Assembly sponsored by Alianza PAIS, is now part of the bench of Citizen Revolution, a movement that supports former President Rafael Correa. She assured that she will defend herself against the investigation that will begin against her in the Legislative and that she does not rule out reaching international instances to demonstrate a supposed persecution that seeks to stop her role as an assembly member.
Why did you go to visit Diana F., a protected witness in the case where former President Rafael Correa is being investigated?
Because I was asked by lawyer Yadira Cadena and it was because Mrs. Diana F. asked her to talk. There was a need for another person nearby and (Cadena) asked me to accompany her. The visit was spoiled, the document of the director of the prison, Nancy Guamba, says that the visit was spoiled.
But that does not read the Minister of Justice, who says he was wearing glasses, that I touched my hair, but he does not say it was a spoiled visit.
What is your relationship with lawyer Yadira Cadena?
She is a friend. She told me that Diana F. was concerned about her safety and other issues and asked me to accompany her. And I did it, why not do it? It has been said that it was intended to change its b, but that version can no longer be changed. She has an effective cooperation and her version is part of the process. They are only speculations, lies and an interested party like Fernando Balda’s lawyer, who knows that this case is falling.
Did you offer help to agent Diana F.?
They said that I pressed her, that I offered her help. It is not true, a few steps away was a prison agent and it is impossible in 10 minutes to press a person.
So what did you talk to Diana F. during those 10 minutes?
About her safety she was worried because being a policeman is with other women who have sentences of up to 25 years. If it is a protected witness how it is possible that you are in the same center with those people. A protected witness must be in a reserved place and nobody knows.
For me, it was a humanitarian and solidarity visit, but I am wanted to lynch the media, when many other assembly members visited detainees and nothing happened.
Those visits were cases where the leaders of your political movement were linked?
There’s the problem, what is the concern, what could she tell me. That motivates this media lynching and public derision. They are worried about what Diana F. told me, because they know that they cannot change their version. You initially said that you visited her because several jurists said that Diana F. is not well defended.
Now she says it was for her safety. For both. It was for their human rights, those rights include the issue of their security and their defense, as well as verifying that due process is fulfilled. she told us that there is a commitment to go free in seven months. There was no pressure, no extortion or torture.
It is difficult to believe that Rafael Correa’s defense has contact with the accuser only because of the human rights issue. I am not part of the process, I am an assembly member that I have to supervise and investigate. In the Assembly, it is measured with different rods.
Does César Carrión not meet with the 30-S detainees?
Is not it an interference with the law that assembly members visit the Attorney General?
What do they talk about with the Prosecutor?
Is not it an intrusion to go to the Comptroller, to the Judicature? I did a humanitarian visit, I asked him how he was and how he felt. A conversation of 10 minutes. Filmed by all the cameras and the big test that violated security is that I had glasses on. (I)