The Odebrecht case gets cold
Almost two years after the revelation of the United States Department of Justice regarding the handing over of bribes by Odebrecht to officials of the previous Government, there is still no enforceable sentence.
Nor is it known if the Prosecutor’s Office opened new cases as ordered by the National Court in its six-year sentence for illicit association imposed on former Vice President Jorge Glas.
In the ruling notified last month, the Court ordered the investigation of potential typical, unlawful and guilty conduct related to the facts investigated, the defendants and other persons who may be involved in them.
The Court’s decision took as a reference the testimonial evidence practiced in the trial completed in December. EXPRESO consulted the Prosecutor’s Office about new files. Until the closing of the edition there was no response.
Until December of the previous year, the Prosecutor’s Office registered 26 cases opened for the bribes that Odebrecht had delivered.
Not half of these cases passed the pre-investigation phase. Some that had a date for a hearing to formulate charges never materialized as the file for money laundering that had to be sustained against Ricardo Rivera, uncle of the former vice president, and others, and that of tax fraud announced the previous year by ex-prosecutor Carlos Baca against the construction company.
Aníbal Quinde, Rivera’s lawyer, pointed out that the case did not prosper because there were not enough elements to formulate the charges in the case of money laundering.
The case of illicit association against former Vice President Glas is the only one that is close to conclusion. A court room has already denied the appeal of the sentence. The parties asked for clarification and extension that is still not resolved. The next step will be the matching.
The investigation was driven by the ex-fiscal and current director of the Financial and Economic Analysis Unit (UAFE), Diana Salazar.
In that case, others were derived such as the illegal collection of money through the Sai Bank, in which two people received nine years and four months in the first instance.
There was also a one-year prison sentence for procedural fraud for expert witness Jose Luis Fuentes, accused of changing the name of Glas for Lasso in a skill.
Former Comptroller Carlos Pólit and his son John Pólit received six and three years, respectively, for concussion. Polit, a fugitive in Miami, United States, was accused of receiving 10.1 million to fade glosses and issue favorable reports.
In the cases of Glas and Polit the testimony of the informer José Santos was one of the bases to obtain the sentences.
The former Minister of Electricity Alecksey Mosquera was the first one investigated by Odebrecht. He was accused of receiving a million dollars in bribes for the Toachi Pilatón hydroelectric project. The money remained hidden until he stopped being a minister.
The Office of the Prosecutor initiated ex officio the preliminary investigation for the delivery of about 33.5 million dollars on December 22, 2016. Until December the case had 600 folders. More than 70 versions were received, eight experts and assistance was requested to Colombia, Spain, Andorra, Brazil, USA and Switzerland.
Money laundering is the crime with the largest number of files. There are at least 11 records. Eight in previous investigation and in two already there is sentence. Organized crime was also investigated. Ex-prosecutor Thania Moreno requested the file and the case was in consultation with the attorney general. The investigation continues.
It was one of the pillars of the investigation. Prosecutors received international criminal assistance from Panama, Andorra and other countries, which allowed them to follow the route of the money delivered by Odebrecht to officials and transferred to companies and accounts of citizens abroad. (I)