Ecuador's National Court of Justice denied a defense request made by Vice President Jorge Glas' team for former President Rafael Correa to testify on his behalf in his trial hearing.
Glas has emphatically maintained his innocence, opting to go to jail and proceed with a court trial on alleged illicit association to a bribery scheme related to Brazil's construction firm, Odebrecht. The judge hearing the case considered Correa's testimony to be irrelevant, dismissing Glas' request.
On Monday, Glas' defense lawyer Eduardo Franco Loor announced that Correa wished to present his version of the facts and details as they pertained to the case. The investigation encompasses a four-year-period, between 2013 and 2017, much of which occurred during Correa's second term in office.
Correa returned to Ecuador from Belgium to participate in the VII National Convention of PAIS Alliance, the ruling political coalition of progressive movements which gave voice to the Citizens' Revolution.
The former vice president has been in pretrial detention since Oct. 2 for his alleged involvement in the Odebrecht corruption scheme. He turned himself in, marking the occasion by saying he would face justice, not like other politicians who have fled the country to avoid charges. "The innocent don't have to flee, I haven't done it, I won't do it."
He claimed to be a victim of a vendetta orchestrated by the Brazilian construction firm and accused Ecuador's justice system of yielding to “political and mediatic pressure” by right-wing groups.
For his part, Correa said the case against Glas is "unintelligible” and that prosecutors are going after “an innocent man” as a result of “political persecution."