THE CASE/ Chronology 2014-2012
2014
Chronology of a pre-announced sentence
The year began with an electoral reversal for Correa in the sectional elections that were held in Ecuador on February 23. The governing party lost its power in more than 20 municipalities across the country including the mayor’s office in the capital provinces of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca.

After the defeat, far from rectifying his position, Correa cane down even harder. He proposed his reelection for the 2017 elections, blocked a referendum the country demanded prior to the exploitation of the Yasuni National Park and expedited the issuance of various judicial sentences for political gain.

Once again the Isaias case was used as a political tool. Correa was intent on using them for the February 23 elections. Months prior to the elections, Nathalie Cely, the Ecuadorean Ambassador to the US, had hired the US Ketchum agency to create an international smear campaign against the Isaias brothers. The goal was to dishonor them and attack their innocence in the country where they now reside in order to create an appropriate climate for their conviction them in Ecuador.

On March 12, 2014, the Criminal Chamber made up of justices Paul Iniguez, Ximena Vintimilla and Johnny Ayluardo threw out the appellate recourses filed by the parties during the appellate stage and issued the condemnatory sentence for the crime of embezzlement, as a form of misappropriation. Once again changing the crime by which the Isaias brothers are convicted by reiterating the arguments in Judge Merino’s sentence.

On July 2nd of this year, the Florida Third District Court of Appeals ruled that the government of Ecuador could not intend on collecting alleged amounts of pending debts in the US if it cannot prove what it is asserting. The Court’s opinion warned that all decisions made by the government of Ecuador through its institutions in that country are subject to review and cannot be viewed in any circumstance as conclusive.

In the face of this decision, all of the Ecuadorean officials that have participated in this case could be called to testify under oath in the Courts of the State of Florida where the evidence must be duly substantiated before judges that are not susceptible to any form of pressure.
2013
US Justice rules in favor of the Isaias brothers
The monopolizing of power, the politicalization of justice and the antidemocratic attitudes of Rafael Correa’s regime is increasingly evident in the international arena especially this year.

On March 12, 2013, Roberto and William Isaias Dassum filed a complaint before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in Geneva, Switzerland, against the Ecuadorean Government for violations of their rights in the criminal case brought against them as well as the illegal confiscation of their assets. The complaint was accepted by the Commission and it informed the accused State to respond to the accusations made against it.

The lawsuit that was filed by the Ecuadorian State in 2009, through the Agency Guaranteed Deposit, in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA, intent on confiscating Isaias assets in the US was presided by Judge John W. Thornton who ruled in favor of Roberto and William Isaias and against the Ecuadorean Government on May 20, 2013.

Among the important findings of this ruling, Judge Thornton upholds that the resolution used by the AGD to conduct the confiscatory act was not a sentence and rejected a similar attempt by the Ecuadorian state on US territory. Thornton also questioned the defenselessness by which the enactment of Mandate 13 had left the Isaias brothers.

A month later, on June 20th, in a note delivered to the Ecuadorean Embassy in Washington, the US Departments of Justice and State denied for the fourth time, the extradition of the Isaias brothers due to the lack of evidence to prove misappropriation of any funds, or diversion of funds from the Central Bank by the defendants.

In Ecuador, justice is still submissive to the Executive. On August 9, 2013, the Criminal Chamber made up of justices Paul Iniguez, Ximena Vintimilla and Johnny Ayluardo threw out the nullification recourse filed by many of those charged in the Isaias case and declared the criminal case filed against them to be valid. The justices failed to mention in their ruling that more than 70% of the evidence requested by the defense of the accused were denied or refused.
2012
The correista judges reveal themselves thru their rulings.
On January 26, 2012, the Council of Judicial Transition began to quickly appoint the justices for the new Court. The majority of the 21 new judges demonstrated their ties to the regime. They were former aides or officials and relatives of legislators and ministers.

Suspiciously, on April 11, 2012, the case of the Isaias brothers fell into the familiar hands of the judges who handled the case of El Universo, who they sentenced to 8 years imprisonment.

Contrary to that which is ordered by the constitution, Merino personally signed the sentence but, appeared at the press conference to announce his “triumph” before the nation along with Blum and Iniguez trying to make the ruling appear as if it was handed down by a “court”.

A week later, the trial of the newspaper El Universo, fell back into the hands of Justices Wilson Merino, Jorge Blum and Paul Iniguez, who upheld the ruling favoring Correa with 40 million dollars and sentenced the owners of the newspaper and opinion editor to pay that enormous value and three years in prison.

The sentence is inconsistent in both form and substance. In the ruling, Merino acknowledges that the banking embezzlement of which the Isaias are accused of was not a crime at the time it was allegedly committed. He then decides to convict them for embezzlement “major or general” that is only applicable to government employees.

Merino accepts the following in his ruling, the previous calls to trial were illegal, but, instead of returning the case to the previous stage where it belonged he introduced a new accusation and allowed the case to continue this time for another crime.

The Isaias brothers as well as others charged in this case, presented appeals against the individual ruling of judge Merino and the case went before the Criminal Chamber where the opinion of the sentence was entrusted to Judge Paul Iniguez who had publicly supported Merino.

By year's end, Pedro Delgado, cousin and right hand man of the President and persecutor of the Isaias brothers, resigned from his various posts and fled to Miami after publicly confessing that he had forged his economics degree that he had used to hold numerous posts of public administration.

Delgado, who in addition to being Chairman of the Central Bank, was also responsible for managing the confiscated assets left a disastrous legacy after his escape. Of the more than 1 billion USD in confiscated assets, businesses and media he left losses of 154.3 million USD.

Delgado, in the only report he presented during his administration, justifies only the payment of about $5 million to depositors, the same depositors that were harmed by La Previsora and Previsora International Bank and not Filanbanco.


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