Ecuador's Vice President Jorge Glas traveled to Quito to turn himself in as part of a preventive detention order as he continues to be investigated on allegations of corruption.
Glas said Monday night he would face justice, not like other politicians who have fled the country to avoid charges, because he said, "The innocent don't have to flee, I haven't done it, I won't do it."
"I accept under protest this outrageous attack against me, I still have faith that justice will prevail, I will prove my innocence," Glas said on Twitter.
He turned himself in in Guayaquil, his home city, and was accompanied by his wife to a military air base where he was then transported to the capital.
Ecuador's Supreme Court ordered Glas be jailed on suspicion of being part of the corruption scheme involving the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, where officials allege they paid US$33 million in bribes to the Ecuadorean government to win contracts.
"Without evidence and with forged evidence, lynching is all they have left," Glas said. "I will go to national and international bodies in my defense."
Attorney General Carlos Baca Mancheno requested that Glas receive preventive detention, citing that he is a potential risk of fleeing the country. Judge Miguel Jurado accepted the request. Before Monday’s ruling, the vice president was barred from leaving the country, something he had not attempted to do.
Glas' attorney Eduardo Franco Loor said that they will appeal the "bad, unjust and arbitrary decision." He described the ruling as a "judicial coup" lacking a legitimate legal basis.
"Accepting arguments presented by the prosecutor #CarlosBacaM, Judge Miguel Jurado order preventive detention for Jorge G. and Ricardo R."
Pido públicamente que el Fiscal exhiba ante el país las pruebas que tiene en mi contra.— Jorge Glas (@JorgeGlas) October 2, 2017
"I publicly ask the Prosecutor to present the evidence against me to the country."
"I consider Vice President Jorge Glas innocent because there is no merit to consider him guilty, there are no indications, there are no presumptions, there is no evidence to establish guilt in any crime," Franco said.
Demonstrators gathered in front of Ecuador's National Court of Justice in Quito in defense of the vice president, holding signs saying, "The people are here, Glas is innocent."
"He is being victimized by the media, and by the political perversity of opposition groups, which have so far presented no evidence," Franco said, adding that presumptions are no legal ground to subject him to criminal proceedings.
Meanwhile, the government is analyzing the legal situation of the vice presidency in since the preventive detention ruling according to Politics Secretary Miguel Carvajal.
"Pretrial detention is not a cause of loss of the vice-president's office; that would happen in the event of a final judgment or a dismissal by the Assembly, following a political trial, because in those cases Glas would lose political rights or be censured and would be barred from public office," said attorney Ivan Castro Patino.
Attorney Stalin Raza says the potential detention "doesn't mean that the vice presidency is vacant right now, but that the vice president is going to be temporarily absent."
Article 146 of the country's constitution allows a maximum of three months of absence, after which the absence would become definitive.
"Only in that presumed scenario does the president have to send a list to the assembly to elect the new vice president," Raza said.
The prosecutor also requested the preventive detention of his uncle Ricardo Rivera for his alleged association in the graft case. Glas has previously made clear, however, that Rivera "acted on his own account."
Glas is accused of receiving bribes for two contracts by the Odebrecht's former director in Ecuador, Jose Conceicao Santos, whom Glas called "corrupt” and “immoral.”
Glas is close to former President Rafael Correa and an advocate of the socially-driven policies of the Citizen's Revolution. The vice president has been critical of the policies of Moreno, who has been accused by Correa of tilting toward a right-wing "betrayal" after taking office in May.
Calling his persecution "a clear retaliation" for criticizing Moreno's policies, Glas also blamed pressure from "major businessmen and opposition leaders."
The ruling PAIS Alliance has indicated that it will defend due process and presumption of innocence.
Correa has defended Glas, explaining that a "media plot" has been constructed as it was in Brazil against ousted President Dilma Rousseff and allegations against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
President Moreno relieved Glas of his official vice presidential duties in August, which did not strip him of his position since he was popularly elected, along with Moreno in April.