Former President of Ecuador Lenín Moreno is being formally prosecuted for alleged bribery and has been ordered, as a precaution, by a National Court of Justice judge to appear every 15 days in a special chamber of the court, although Moreno has not. He has lived in Ecuador since 2021. The decision was announced Sunday after the charges-drafting hearing was suspended Friday night. In addition to Moreno, his wife, his daughter, his two brothers and his sister’s sisters have been linked to the process, who have been ordered to present them as a precautionary measure every eight days also in court, banning them from leaving the country and using the monitoring device.
In the process, the judge also linked 30 other people the prosecutor’s office had indicated to be involved in a kickback structure for a Chinese company building a dam in Ecuador. Among them are the former Chinese ambassador Cai Rongo and Wu Yu, the representative of Sinohydro in Ecuador, and the latter was the only one who was ordered to be remanded in custody by the judge. The other defendants must appear before the same institution every eight days.
The Chinese company Sinohydro won the bidding competition to acquire one of the recent mega projects of the government of Rafael Correa, the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric power plant, which since its opening has not been able to fully operate due to various technical failures of thousands. A crack also alerted in the audits carried out by the Comptroller of Ecuador.
The alleged bribery offense is worth $76 million, which is 4% of the initial contracted value of the work which was $1,979 million, though the state ultimately paid $2,245 million for the dam, which was awarded in 2009. When Moreno held office Vice President, Rafael Correa.
At the hearing, the attorney general said the president’s family would have received $660,000 in bribes. Moreno and his wife were reportedly paid through an apartment in Alicante, Spain for $200,000. The company that transferred this money is INA Investment, set up by Edwin Moreno, brother of the former president. INA also transferred $19,432 to a furniture company in Switzerland, which ended up in Lenin Moreno’s apartment in Switzerland when he was the United Nations Disability and Accessibility Representative in 2013.
The only statement Moreno made was through a statement on his Twitter account, on February 22, in which he said he bore no responsibility in contracting this work, and criticized that within the process “no charges were brought against those who took responsibility and the authorities at the various stages of the process.” “.
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Former President Rafael Correa has also been summoned to present his voluntary version on the Sinohydro case on March 8, which will be held through a virtual room at 9:00 am, since the former president is out of the country.
Lenin Moreno was vice president of Rafael Correa between 2007 and 2013, then became president sponsored by the Correa party and ruled between 2017 and 2021. A period of three months, but so far they have not returned. In 2021, he was nominated as the Organization of American States (OAS) Commissioner for Disability Issues, based in Paraguay, the country in which he is located.
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