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  • Ex-President Rafael Correa denies any involvement in the case.

    Ex-President Rafael Correa denies any involvement in the case. | Photo: EFE

Published 2 July 2018

The ex-President of Ecuador is accused of playing a role in a failed kidnapping attempt against the opposition lawmaker Fernando Balda in 2012.

Former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa complied with a Judge's request for him to report to his country's consulate in Belgium under the preventive measures imposed against him due to his alleged involvement in a kidnapping attempted on opposition lawmaker Fernando Balda in 2012.

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Quito's National Court of Justice ordered Correa report to the consulate every 15 days starting June 2. The measures have been taken against Correa although the matter is still in the investigation phase, a move which has been widely criticized. 

Paul Perez Reina, the attorney in charge of the prosecution, demanded the former president periodically report to the "diplomatic delegation of Ecuador in Belgium,” where he has lived with his family since July 2017.

In a letter published on his Twitter account Monday, Correa expressed his wish to comply with the procedural law despite the “evident political and judicial persecution” he has suffered in the last few months.

The former president has said the investigation is a “vulgar political persecution that would have never happened with a real rule of law and, because it's clumsy and absurd, will never survive at an international level.”

Correa has been living in Belgium for a year and faces no current charges. The former president complied with the legal demand and visited Ecuador's consulate at 11:40 a.m. local time Monday. The former president had already voluntarily reported to Ecuador's consulate in Belgium before.

Correa denies any involvement in the case and has said there is no evidence linking him to the matter comparing his persecution to that of Lula da Silva.

For his part, Balda has started a campaign and has visited Ecuador's diplomatic missions in Belgium demanding they arrest Correa.

Correa is accused of planning the kidnapping of the former opposition lawmaker in 2012. Balda says five people tried to kidnap him in Bogota in 2012, but the Colombian police stopped the attempt.

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Balda filed a complaint with the National Court of Justice Saturday. “As a personal accusation I filed the complaint in which I formally accuse him of this crimes,” he said.

He demanded the case be prosecuted as a “State crime” and accused Correa of using public funds to finance the attempted kidnapping, which he claims was “politically motivated.”

Balda, a former lawmaker with the right-wing opposition Patriotic Society party, was charged with conspiring to overthrow the government of Rafael Correa as part of the failed September 2010 coup against the former president which was led mainly by dissident police forces. However, he was in Colombia at the time of the charges and thus his prosecution was put on hold.

In October 2012 Balda was deported from Colombia, because he had been in the country without immigration permission and then he was deported to face the charges against him on Oct. 25, 2012.

In January the following year he was convicted of the crime of threatening state security and a month later he was sentenced to one year in prison for that crime as well as giving false information which affected the honor of the state.

After Correa's declarations, the Workers' Party of Brazil issued a press release expressing their support for the former president and called for Ecuadorean officials to carry out a fair trial free from political bias.

“In our continent, the Latin American and Caribbean peoples with the fight for democracy and the expression of their sovereignty and will come through democratic instruments. We're certain Ecuador; a brother country will continue its path towards democracy and peace.”


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