The former president of Ecuador Lenin Moreno is officially prosecuted for the alleged crime of bribery and the judge of the National Court of Justice ordered him, as a precautionary measure, to appear every 15 days in a special room of the Court, although Moreno has not lived in Ecuador since 2021. The decision was made known this Sunday after suspending the hearing for the formulation of charges on Friday night. In addition to Moreno, his wife, his daughter, his two brothers and his sisters-in-law have been linked to the process, to whom they have ordered as preventive measures the presentation every eight days also in Court, the prohibition to leave the country and the use of a surveillance device.
In the process, the judge also linked another 30 people indicated by the Prosecutor’s Office to having participated in a bribery structure to favor a Chinese company for the construction of a dam in Ecuador. Among them are the former Chinese ambassador Cai Runguo and Wu Yu, representative of the Sinohydro company in Ecuador, the latter was the only one that the judge ordered preventive detention. Other defendants must appear before the same institution every eight days.
The Chinese company Sinohydro won the bidding contest to take over one of the last mega-projects of the Government of Rafael Correa, the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant, which since its inauguration has not been able to fully function due to various technical failures of thousands of fissures that They have also been alerted in the audits carried out by the Comptroller of Ecuador.
The amount of the alleged crime of bribery is 76 million dollars, which corresponds to 4% of the initial value contracted for the work, which was 1,979 million dollars, although in the end the country paid 2,245 million for the dam that was awarded in 2009 when Moreno held the position of Vice President of Rafael Correa.
At the indictment hearing, the prosecutor stated that the presidential family would have received $660,000 in bribes. Payments were made to Moreno and his wife through an apartment in Alicante, Spain, for $200,000. The company that transferred that money was INA Investment, created 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 UN representative on disability and accessibility issues in 2013.
The only pronouncement that Moreno has made has been through a statement on the Twitter account, on February 22, in which he said that he had no responsibility in the contracting of that work and criticized that within the process “no charges are filed against those who did have responsibility and powers in the different stages of the process.”
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Former President Rafael Correa has also been summoned to render his voluntary version on the Sinohydro case on March 8, which will be held through a virtual room at 9:00 a.m., since the former president is out of the country.
Lenin Moreno was vice president of Rafael Correa between 2007 and 2013, then he became president sponsored by Correa’s party and governed between 2017 and 2021. At the end of his presidential term, he notified the National Assembly of his departure to the United States for a period of three months, but to date has not returned. In 2021 he was nominated as commissioner of the Organization of American States (OAS) on disability issues, which is based in Paraguay, the country in which he is located.
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