QUITO – Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas will go to trial to face charges of illicit association in the bribery case involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, the National Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday.
“After reviewing all the elements ... presented by the Attorney General’s Office, Judge Miguel Jurado summons to trial the vice president and 12 other defendants in the #CasoOdebrecht criminal association case,” the Ecuadorian AG’s office said on its Twitter account.
The AG’s office last week had sent a written request to the National Court to bring Glas and 12 other defendants to trial – including his uncle, Ricardo Rivera, and the country’s former comptroller, Carlos Polit, who is a fugitive from justice – for the same crime.
Glas has been held without bail in a Quito jail since Oct. 2 and is the top-ranking Ecuadorian politician in the group of people tainted by the Odebrecht corruption scandal.
The vice president, who was elected in the runoff vote last April but whose duties were curtailed last August amid disagreements with President Lenin Moreno, has always proclaimed his innocence and says that he is being subjected to political and media persecution.
Glas served as the head of Strategic Sectors under President Rafael Correa from 2010-2016 and allegedly received $13.5 million in bribes between 2012-2016, according to local media.
The vice president, meanwhile, said on the weekend that he will get his message out via Twitter while he is in custody.
Last December, the US Department of Justice revealed that Odebrecht paid $788 million in bribes in 12 Latin American and African countries.
In Ecuador, that report said, between 2007 and 2016, the Brazilian construction firm paid more than $35.5 million in bribes to “government officials,” allegedly in exchange for infrastructure contracts that generated more than $116 million in profits for the firm.