Rafael Correa was called to attend a trial that takes place against him
In the last hours, the Ecuadorian judge Daniella Camacho quoted the popular former president Rafael Correa to a trial, where he is held responsible for the political kidnapping of Fernando Balda, which took place in 2012 in Bogotá, as indicated by Diario del Cauca. It should be noted that Balda was an opponent of the government of former president.
Leer en español: Ecuador: Rafael Correa prófugo de la justicia
In addition to Correa, who ran the country from 2007 to 2017, former national intelligence secretary Pablo Romero, ex-intelligence Diana Falcón and Raúl Chicaiza will also have to appear at a trial hearing as perpetrators of the infraction, as mentions Week.
From Belgium, the former president expressed his dissatisfaction to the AFP news agency "Since they can not beat us at the polls since they can not defeat us, they look for all these tremendously serious excuses, because these are international crimes, [it is a] political persecution." Correa resides in Belgium since 2017 and is where he decided to take refuge after being issued in July a warrant for preventive detention, according to El País de España.
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The same media adds that Interpol was also requested for international detention, an organization that has not yet issued a statement in response to Ecuador's justice request.
Now, it is important to clarify that Rafael Correa can only attend the trial if he is captured, or he decides to appear before the court, since according to Semana "the law prevents his trial in absentia for that crime, punishable by up to seven years in prison."
What is the Balda case?
The case for which Rafael Correa is accused is the kidnapping of the government's opponent, Fernando Balda. On August 13, 2012, Balda was kidnapped for one hour in the city of Bogotá. As indicated by El País, "the case was considered by the prosecution to be a State crime because public money was used to commit the crime."
Although the event stopped sounding for a while, it regained strength in January of this year, when the Ecuadorian General Prosecutor's Office decided to reopen the case and start again with the pertinent investigation. There, the Ecuadorian Attorney General also denounced another person besides those named: Jorge Armando Espinoza Méndez.
And there are proofs?
Against all this, Correa has denied all the accusations and has protected himself under the argument of being a victim of political persecution. In addition to openly criticizing the decision that both the prosecution and the judge took. This is what he says in his Twitter account:
Me voy a dormir. Con la portada de El Telégrafo, es claro lo que va a pasar.— Rafael Correa (@MashiRafael) 7 de noviembre de 2018
Se ratifica que el Caso Balda. es una farsa, y que todo es persecución política, porque no pueden derrotarnos en las urnas.
No se preocupen por mï, preocúpense por la Patria
¡Hasta la victoria siempre! pic.twitter.com/IpOmP4swY6
Siempre he sido optimista en el largo plazo, pero realista en el corto plazo.— Rafael Correa (@MashiRafael) 8 de noviembre de 2018
No esperaba absolutamente nada de una “justicia” que recibe consignas, no argumentos.
Con esto me quieren mantener en el destierro varios años.
A nivel internacional no podrán sostenerlo, pero...
However, the other defendants (Falcón and Chicaiza) collaborated with the justice for a reduction of sentence, stating that Rafael Correa did have to do with the order of the kidnapping. Given this and according to the Prosecutor's Office there are 28 pieces of evidence that, apparently, would link the former president.
The step to follow
According to the AFP news agency, it was announced that Rafael Correa applied for asylum in Belgium five months ago. The aforementioned media assured that two sources close to the case assured him. According to the same media, "the asylum application was filed on June 25, days before the Ecuadorian justice ordered preventive detention and asked Interpol to issue a red circular against the 55-year-old former president."
Given this, Rafael Correa, in a telephone conversation with the news agency EFE, said he had not started a process but "I keep studying, I will use all the rights I have to defend myself and my family."
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Translated from "Ecuador: Rafael Correa prófugo de la justicia"
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