The former Ecuadorian president, an asylum seeker in Belgium and a fugitive from justice in his country, in an interview referred to the possibility of returning to Ecuador and said that he would need immunity to come back
The former president of Ecuador assures that there is political persecution against him. (REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)
Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, ruled on what should be the conditions that he would need to return to the Andean country, since he is a fugitive from national justice and is an asylum seeker in Belgium. In an interview with Europa Press , the former president assured that he is the victim of “ brutal persecution ” and that he needs immunity to return to the country.
“ If I return to Ecuador, they will put me in jail ”, assured the former president who was convicted of corruption in the Bribery case >2012-2016. The sentence, which was ratified in the highest courts of justice in the country, points to Correa as the mediate author in a bribery scheme that allowed financing his extinct movement Alianza PAIS .
The former vice president, Jorge Glas, who was also convicted in the same case, is in prison in Ecuador, while Rafael Correa has been granted asylum by the Kingdom from Belgium and can travel the world, although not return to Ecuador, since the sentence against him forces him to remain eight years in prison.
It is because of this scenario that Correa told the European media “that he will not return to Ecuador until he enjoys of the immunity that, for example, would grant him an official electoral candidacy, since otherwise “he would be suicidal””.
Rafael Correa was sentenced to eight years in prison for a bribery scheme that allowed him to finance his extinct Country Alliance party. (REUTERS/Daniel Tapia)
In addition, the former president has maintained that the ratification of his sentence was ultimately given so that he could not participate in the last presidential elections in which Guillermo Lasso, the current president of Ecuador, won: “If I was a candidate and I was in Ecuador, we would win the elections,” he told Europa Press. For the leader of the citizen revolution in Ecuador, “if a “bad” candidate like Lasso won, it was because of the absence of a major rival.”
Correa assured: “ If I were a candidate for president I would win, modesty aside, in the first round” and believe that “sooner rather than later, the citizen revolution will recover the homeland”.
Nevertheless , the Constitution of Ecuador prohibits indefinite re-election, limiting representatives to any public office to only remain for two periods, that is, to be re-elected only once. Rafael Correa has already exhausted those possibilities. Even, according to constitutional experts, Correa could not even be a candidate for the Vice Presidency, since his only function is to replace the President, a position that Correa could not exercise. To this is added that the former president's sentence disqualifies him from holding public office.
Former Vice President Jorge Glas has been in prison since 2017 and was convicted in the same case for which former President Rafael Correa is a fugitive. (AFP)
Correa has also reiterated that he and those around him are victims of lawfare. As he said in the interview with the international media, “the” judicial party “and the” media party “have served as executing arms at the service of the Government of the day, first of Moreno and now of Lasso.” For the former president, the Bribes case, for which he was sentenced, is the paradigm of political persecution.
Despite his questioning of the Ecuadorian justice that sentenced him, Rafael Correa celebrated the annulment of the sentence in the Singue Case, for which Jorge Glas had a sentence ratified in second instance. However, since the court declared all the proceedings in that case null and void because due process was not followed, Glas could access the prison benefit of pre-release and be released from prison.
Regarding this, Correa indicated that “the “inevitable” social support for the “citizen's revolution” is becoming evident, there are “judges who do what they should always have done”, according to the outlet.
The reason why Correa feels safe in Belgium is precisely because of the political persecution that the former president claims is against him. Regarding the risks to the security of left-wing politicians, Correa referred to the attack suffered by the Vice President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández: “They inoculate so much hatred that any madman believes that shooting a progressive leader will make him into a hero,” he said.