The President of Ecuador's National Assembly, Jose Serrano Salgado, announced via his official Twitter page, that the Andean country is going forward with impeachment hearings of imprisoned Vice-President Jorge Glas. “The Legislative Administration Council,” wrote Jose Serrano Salgado, proceeds to “comply with the deadline set forth by the Constitution and Organic Law of the Legislative Function” to forward Jorge Glas' impeachment hearing to the Constitutional Court.
Glas was elected vice-president in the second electoral round last April, with Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno as leader of the left-wing Alianza País. Last week, Glas became the highest-ranking elected official convicted in the Odebrecht corruption case.
Reacting on Twitter late Wednesday, former president Rafael Correa had denounced the sentence as condemning "an innocent."
"A trial full of so many irregularities will have to go to the international bodies, but they already have their objective: to seize the vice presidency," Correa wrote. "The same script as with Dilma, Lula, Cristina. It's all a matter of time, our people will react."
Glas' defense counsel, Eduardo Franco Loor, announced after Wednesday's proceedings that he will appeal the six-year sentence, which he described as "iniquitous" and "barbaric", and insisted that his client will not resign.
"The temporary suspension of the sentence will be requested immediately, as established by the regulations, so that the vice president can recover his freedom as soon as possible," Loor said. "Of course, he will continue as vice president of the country."
The sentence was handed down by Edgar Flores Mier, who granted Attorney General Carlos Baca's requested six-year jail sentence. Baca argued that "the prosecution has presented the evidence with which it based its trial and now it is up to the judges to establish culpability or ratify innocence."
Glas and his uncle Ricardo Rivera were two of nine people accused of criminal conduct in connection with the sprawling Latin American corruption case. Odebrecht has admitted paying US$788 million in bribes to officials in Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Peru and the Dominican Republic.