Friday, July 12, 2024

LATIN AMERICA | 11-04-2022 11:27

Odebrecht corruption scandal: disgraced Ecuador and Peru leaders freed

Ecuador's former vice president Jorge Glas and Peru's ex-president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, both involved with the Brazilian Odebrecht corruption scandal, have been freed

Ecuador's former vice-president Jorge Glas, jailed for corruption involving the Brazilian company Odebrecht, was freed on parole Sunday.

In neighbouring Peru, meanwhile, ex-president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was also granted conditional freedom by a court after serving 36 months of house arrest.

Glas, while serving a six-year sentence for receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks from the construction giant, was sentenced in January last year to a separate eight-year term for misuse of public funds.

He had been imprisoned in Latacunga, south of Quito, since 2017.

Glas, 52, served under two presidents until he was stripped of his office in 2018.

"I took on a twisted, politicised judicial system," he told reporters Sunday after his release. 

Video on social networks showed Glas exiting the Latacunga prison to a warm welcome from dozens of supporters.

A judge granted his release on Saturday, provided Glas does not leave the country and reports to authorities once a month.

He served under president Rafael Correa.

Glas lawyer Edison Loaiza said Glas was in poor health and was in danger at Latacunga, scene of one of the bloody prison massacres that have left 350 inmates dead since February 2021.

Correa has also been sentenced to eight years in jail for corruption, but is living in exile in Belgium.

Ecuadoran authorities have lodged an appeal against Glas's parole.

In Lima, ex-Peruvian president Kuczynski had been under house arrest since April 2019 awaiting trial on money laundering charges.

In 2018 he had become the first Latin American president to resign over alleged connections to the Odebrecht corruption scandal. 

The company doled out millions in bribes to officials in exchange for public works contracts. 


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