(CNN Spanish) — Ecuador’s attorney general’s office requested the detention of former president Lenin Moreno, his wife, his daughter and seven so-called defendants in the Sinohydro case for failing to meet deadlines before the court. Department of Communications to CNN from the Attorney General’s Office. Moreno was charged with bribery.
The prosecutor’s office made a request during the trial to review the precautionary measures. David Meza, Moreno’s lawyer, told media that in the review, the judge was asked to allow the former president to make occasional appearances at the Ecuadorian embassy in Paraguay. Can go to Ecuador.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the case relates to an alleged system of corruption in the construction of the Coco Goto Sinclair hydroelectric project, which was developed by the Chinese state-owned company Sinohydro in the Ecuadorian provinces of Nabo and Chucumbios.
Lenin Moreno and his wife have been living in Paraguay since early 2022. During an interview with CNN on March 8, the former president denied the allegations against him. He insisted that he had no responsibility in contracting the work and that the judicial process was harassment against him and his family.
“I think for the first time in the political life of Ecuador there has been a real persecution, an entire family has been put on trial,” he said.
In early March, Judge Adrian Rojas of the National Court ordered the opening of a financial investigation for 90 days and precautionary measures against Moreno, six members of his family and 30 others investigated in the case.
According to Attorney General Diana Salazar, the alleged bribes totaled US$76 million, equivalent to nearly 4% of the contract value of the work. Salazar said the bribes were paid between 2010 and June 6, 2018.
Moreno was Vice President for the first six years (2007–2017) of Rafael Correa’s government, and then President between 2017 and 2021.
The Chinese embassy in Ecuador responded to CNN in March, saying it expects Ecuador’s judicial system to conduct all investigations and resolve the case fairly and objectively.
“The Chinese government always requires Chinese companies to comply with foreign laws and regulations. At the same time, it strongly supports the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” the embassy emailed to CNN.