August 21, 2017 / 8:54 PM / a month ago

Ecuador prosecutor to present corruption case against vice president

FILE PHOTO: Ecuador's Vice President Jorge Glas gestures while he addresses the National Assembly in Quito, Ecuador June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Tapia/File Photo

QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuador’s top prosecutor said on Monday he would present evidence of corruption against the country’s embattled vice president, who was stripped of his duties by a presidential decree that stopped short of firing him earlier this month.

Vice President Jorge Glas was sidelined early this month by President Lenin Moreno, who accused him of not being a team player after the vice president said the government was publishing false economic data.

Prosecutor Carlos Baca told reporters his office had evidence of “illicit association” against Glas, in a case linked to the regional corruption scandal cantering on Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

“We will request the National Court of Justice set a hearing date against Jorge Glas, the vice president,” Baca read from a statement. Before the court can hear the evidence, a minimum 92 of Ecuador’s 137 members of congress must vote to allow an investigation into a sitting vice president.

Glas says he is innocent of any wrongdoing.

“I have never allowed corruption or been a part of it,” he told a news conference called after Baca’s announcement.

Odebrecht is involved in a sprawling corruption saga and has already paid $3.5 billion in settlements in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland, embroiling politicians across Latin America.

Reporting by Jose Llangaril and Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Sandra Maler

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