Ecuador asks Belgium to extradite ex-president Correa
Ecuador’s judiciary has submitted an extradition request to Belgium for former president Rafael Correa, who has been sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison for graft, authorities said on Friday.
cuador’s judiciary has submitted an extradition request to Belgium for former president Rafael Correa, who has been sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison for graft, authorities said on Friday.
Correa, who was president from 2007-17, was convicted two years ago after being found guilty of accepting funds from private businesses for his 2013 election campaign in return for state contracts worth around $7 million.
After leaving office in 2017 he fled to Belgium, the home country of his wife, where he has lived ever since.
“Yesterday I signed the ruling initiating the extradition process,” Ivan Saquicela, president of the National Court of Justice, told Teleamazonas.
According to Ecuador’s judiciary, Correa and several former government officials and businesspeople took part in a corruption scheme that saw bribes paid for public contracts during his presidency.
“We have a solid conviction. There is an agreement with Belgium and international agreements, as well as the extradition law, which support our request from a legal perspective. There are no value judgements here,” said Saquicela.
Correa responded on Twitter calling Saquicela a “clown” and a government “puppet”.
The 59-year-old leftist economist has always denied the accusations and claims to be the victim of political persecution.
Correa was implicated over a $6,000 payment to his private account, which he claims was a loan.
He is also the subject of an arrest warrant over the 2012 kidnapping of a Colombian opposition politician.