The Prosecutor’s Office did not learn that there were talks between the State and Telconet’s principal, Tomislav Topic, for the restitution of 13.5 million attributed to the Odebrecht corruption scheme. It was recognized yesterday by the prosecutor (e) Ruth Palacios.
“I would have liked Mr. Topic to approach the Prosecutor’s Office because he is the sole owner of the criminal process. I had no knowledge of what was being done, “he said. Topic says he is willing to collaborate; that has always been.
Palacios says he learned when Iván Granda, undersecretary of Political Action of the Presidency, gave him information related to a 2017 process on unusual operations within the Odebrecht corruption scheme. Granda met with the prosecutor for several minutes.
The Topic offer was announced on Monday in the Presidency by Granda and the director of the Financial and Economic Analysis Unit (UAFE), Diana Salazar. But the prosecutor says that any agreement must be finalized with the Office of the Prosecutor. He expects Topic to approach the institution to expose the conditions. The employer says it will be without conditions.
The fact that Topic has offered to return the money does not mean, says Palacios, that he is excluded from responsibility and that it is the Prosecutor’s Office that is responsible for determining that.
Against Topic there are two files in the Office of the Prosecutor: one for money laundering that had two statements to make charges in Guayaquil and another for alleged embezzlement. The previous investigations are in charge of Diego Rosero and Ivonne Proaño. Prosecutor Palacios had planned to meet with prosecutors yesterday to find out the status of the investigations.
EXPRESO consulted Topic about the alleged illicit origin of the money it will repay. He indicated that he knew it was from Glory, “but we did not know where Glory was receiving them.”
The 13.5 million will not arrive immediately, but according to the possibilities of Telconet because, he insists, it was invested in the submarine cable project. The information on the origin of the funds would be in the international assistance sent by China that, according to Topic, would practically exempt it from responsibility.
With almost two months in the order, the prosecutor still does not know the content of the information, but she does know that assistance has arrived and information must be collated. Topic explains that the ignorance is due to the fact that who knows the terms of the document is the prosecutor of the case.
It is not the first time that the Prosecutor’s Office is left out in dialogues about acts of corruption. It happened in the Petroecuador case with the return to the country, in 2017, of Carlos Pareja Yannuzzelli. The actions were made by the former president of the Assembly, José Serrano. The prosecutor requested collaboration from the Comptroller’s Office, the UAFE and the SRI to advance the investigations. He insisted on the need for more motivated reports from the Comptroller’s Office, especially that more resources, more fiscal …
The director of the UAFE, Diana Salazar, confirmed that before complaining “the officials must have the ability to fulfill our functions with the resources we have.” From June 2017 until this month, 372 reports with indications of responsibility have been submitted. Of the 209 in previous investigation, 142 are for embezzlement, 63 for illicit enrichment, two for concussion and two for abuse of public money.
Radio technician since the age of seven
Tomislav Topic is a 61-year-old from Guayaquil. Shareholder of Telconet. He is a radio technician since he was seven years old. He has a doctorate as a mathematical engineer, an electronic engineer from the Escuela Politécnica del Litoral (Espol) where he says he entered with the best exam. Telconet customers are mainly private. Topic says that before the Correistas they had the largest fiber optic network in the country and that they do not have and have neither Jorge Glas nor his uncle Ricardo Rivera as partners.
2.5 million was Topic’s first return in the Odebrecht case for illicit association. (I)