Ecuadorian judge arrested after setting former VP free

Ecuadorian judge arrested after setting former VP free
Jorge Glas (left) with former President Rafael Correa in 2017. Photo: Gary Granja/Shutterstock

The Ecuadorian police on Thursday arrested judge Banny Rubén Molina, two days after he granted habeas corpus to former Vice President Jorge Glas. In 2017, Mr. Glas was sentenced to six years in jail for his participation in a millionaire bribery scheme involving Odebrecht, a massive Brazilian construction company now named Novonor.

The Ecuadorian Prosecution Office says the decision to free former VP Glas is not valid, as Judge Molina is himself at the center of an ongoing malfeasance investigation, which disqualifies him from making such a ruling.

While local courts wait to determine whether Mr. Molina is fit to preside over such cases, both he and Mr. Glas will remain behind bars. The former VP benefited from a similar ruling in favor of his release back in April, but courts reversed it a month later. 

Mr. Glas served as vice president between 2013 and 2017 — under former left-wing President Rafael Correa, who also faces corruption allegations. Mr. Correa, however, has exiled himself to Belgium, where he was granted asylum. 

Both Messrs. Correa and Glas accuse the justice system of “lawfare” and “political persecution.” This week, Mr. Correa condemned what he called “harassment” against his former VP.