Hearing of former Ecuadorian vice president Jorge Glas ends without decision

Hearing of former Ecuadorian vice president Jorge Glas ends without decision

A lengthy hearing that was suspended around dawn on Friday ended without a decision on the habeas corpus request presented by the defense of former Ecuadorian vice president Jorge Glas who was seeking his freedom after being captured on April 5 following a unprecedented police raid at the Mexican embassy in Quito.

In the hearing, which lasted nearly 12 hours, reports, testimonies and arguments from both Glas's defense and those involved in the arrest were presented. The former official, via telematics from prison, described how he was detained and asserted that the police officers mistreated him and kicked and kneed him.

He insisted that he is a victim of political persecution and denied the crimes for which he is sentenced, as well as those for which he is being investigated, for which he asked the judges to return his situation to the state prior to the raid on the Mexican diplomatic headquarters. He said that he plans to meet today with delegates from the German consulate since he has dual nationality.

According to the defense of the former vice president, the arrest was “illegal” because it did not respect international standards on the inviolability of diplomatic headquarters and the asylum granted hours before by the Mexican government.

The writ of habeas corpus seeks to restore a person's freedom when their detention is considered illegal or arbitrary.

The version was refuted by the legal secretary of the presidency, Mishele Mancheno, who denied the attacks reported by Glas and justified the capture by arguing that “irregular asylum does not prevent an arrest order from being carried out.” She insisted that the former vice president has sentences for common crimes, which means “there has been no action outside the legal system.”

On the government side, the Minister of Government, Mónica Palencia, and delegates from the Attorney General's Office, the Ministry of Defense and the police also appeared. Jurists also expressed their positions as interested third parties.

The session will be reinstated on Friday afternoon, meanwhile Glas will remain detained in a maximum security prison in the port city of Guayaquil, where he has said he is on a hunger strike.

The hearing took place amid noisy protests for and against the former official in the vicinity of the National Court of Justice, north of Quito.

The unprecedented police raid on the Mexican embassy triggered the breakdown of bilateral relations, a global reproach to Ecuador and the condemnation of the Organization of American States (OAS).

On Thursday, Mexico denounced Ecuador before the International Court of Justice, requesting its suspension from the United Nations. There was no immediate reaction from Ecuador.

Glas had been taking refuge in the Mexican embassy since mid-December. He must now complete a sentence in prison for two cases of corruption, while he is investigated in another case for misappropriation of public funds in the reconstruction works of two provinces after an earthquake in 2016.

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