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HomeWorldEcuador judge OKs charges against ex-leader over Chinese dam

Ecuador judge OKs charges against ex-leader over Chinese dam


The indictment links former President Lenin Moreno to alleged bribery in Coca Codo Sinclair’s hydroelectric project.

An Ecuadorian judge has approved prosecutors’ request to charge former President Lenin Moreno with bribery over a contract for a Chinese-built hydroelectric power plant in the South American country.

The indictment, which includes a total of 37 people, links Moreno to working on the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric project and alleges that the defendants received bribes of up to $76 million as part of a corruption scheme that was active between 2009 and 2018.

Moreno, who served as vice president for part of that period under Rafael Correa’s government, last month denied wrongdoing and said he was not responsible for the tendering of the complex’s works.

After Sunday’s hearing, Moreno tweeted that some of the attorney general’s arguments were “arbitrary and inhumane.”

Judge Adrian Rojas decided as a precaution that Moreno must appear before the National Court every 15 days.

After the hearing, the attorney general’s office said on its Twitter account that Moreno and the rest of the defendants will appear in court “for their alleged participation in the bribery crime.”

The alleged bribes represent “the highest amount prosecuted for corruption in Ecuador,” the prosecutor’s office added.

Moreno, who served as president of Ecuador between 2017 and 2021, currently lives in Paraguay and is a commissioner of the Organization of American States (OAS) for disability affairs.

The hydroelectric plant linked to the case was built by Chinese company Sinohydro at a cost of $2.245 billion.

Ecuador’s attorney general Diana Salazar said last month that China has not responded to a request for assistance in the case.

Sinohydro did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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