THE CASE/ Chronology 2011-2008
Putting his hands on justice
In public speeches, Correa announced on the eve of a referendum that he "would put his hands on the Courts” in order to control the judiciary and align it with his political goals.

He narrowly won the referendum and to select the 21 justices of the new National Court of Justice he handpicked a new Judicature Council of Transition (CJT) that was in charge of conducting the respective selection process.

This Council included three people closely linked to the regime: Paulo Rodríguez Molina, Tania Arias Manzano and Fernando Yavar Umpierrez. Various candidates were strangely favored with 4,6,8, and even 10 points in the process, as were the cases of Wilson Merino, Paul Iniguez, Ximena Vintimilla, Lucy Blacio, Mariana Yumbay, Johnny Ayluardo among others; the same which would later on rule in favor of the regime’s interests and Rafael Correa himself with never before seen multi-million dollar sentences. Correa filed a series of lawsuits where he was sought approximately 500 million USD in damages.

All of this was found to be highly questionable in the reports by the International Oversight Committee headed by Judge Balthazar Garzon., the same Committee that supervised the process. The recommendations issued by this Committee were ignored. Neither the regime nor the Judicature Council corrected the errors detected by the Oversight Committee which had been created by the Government’s own initiative.
Correismo impeaches justices and finds the ruling as “non-existent”
Ten years after the prosecution filed charges political pressures were able to revive a trial that under normal circumstances would not have been able to proceed.

In spite of the Prosecutorial finding that there had been no crime and that the new Penal Code and current Constitution prohibited trials from proceeding in the absence of accusations the Isaias brothers were taken to court without specific accusations against them.

However, on January 15, 2010, three alternate associate Judges, of the First Criminal Chamber of the National Court of Justice, Walter Mazzini Plaza, Felipe Granda Aguilar and Mario Rojas Fernandez, ruled that there was no embezzlement but possibly a minor offense in the balance statements. This caused a domino effect of the Government, the Prosecutor and the government majority of the National Assembly, powers that publicly intimidated the Bench for its ruling. The Executive demanded the immediate dismissal of the alternate associate judges. The demand was echoed by assembly members and Prosecutor Pesantez Washington threatened the judges with prevarication and to extradite the Isaias brothers.

Political pressure produced results and the Bench was impeached, criminally prosecuted and its ruling was revoked, declared "nonexistent" and disappeared from the case history. This legal barbarity was executed by an emergency pro-government court, composed of three new alternate associate judges handpicked exclusively for this case and whose purpose was to call for a full trial, as it was ultimately done. The three new alternate associate judges Jaime Santos Basantes, Gerardo Morales Suarez and Gustavo Durango Vela all had ties to correismo.

Subsequently, the dismissed alternate associate judges Mazzini, Salazar and Rojas were acquitted of the charges and returned to his duties; however their ruling-which led to their dismissal-was never reincorporated into the case file. The innocence of the Isaias brothers was not to their convenience.

Meanwhile, the confiscated businesses began to be plundered. EICA, formerly one of the most successful and profitable companies of the Isaias Group, was a prisoner of state corruption and had breached contracts totaling $33 million USD with the Ministry of Transport and Public Works. It has been sanctioned with a fine of 8 million USD and banned from contracting with the State till 2016. Similarly, other companies pertaining to Isaias group, which were successful before, start to decline due to corruption and poor government management.
The defense appeals to the Constitutional Court
In 2009, the defense for the Isaias brothers goes before the Constitutional Court seeking protection. The reason is a hefty one: the Isaias brothers will be tried retroactively, with a Law that did not exist and that was enacted six months after the commission of the alleged crime of which they were accused of; banking embezzlement.
Confiscation of the assets, businesses and media of the Isaias family
In June of this year, President Rafael Correa decreed the “seizure” of the assets pertaining to the Isaias family after removing from office the Superintendent of Banks, the General Manager of the AGD and replacing them with close allies like Pedro Delgado and Juan Falconi, as is the case of Carlos Bravo Macias.

The “seizure” became a confiscation as it was executed without any judicial sentence and with forged minutes, the same which the Minister of Finance Fausto Ortiz refused to sign. “Sign it or you’re out of here” Correa scolded his minister. Ortiz did not sign it and left.

The first thing the confiscators put their hands on were the television channels TC Television, Gamavision and CN3 vital media for their media-political plan. On the first day alone 195 businesses were confiscated on direct orders of President Correa and carried out by Carlos Bravo Macias, as the brand new Manager of the AGD.

Immediately, the Constituent Assembly, whose majority is favorable to the regime, enacted Mandate 13 supporting the confiscation. In a non-judicial act, without precedence, this legal body ordered the impeachment and criminal prosecution of any judge that accepted claims by the defense of the Isaias brothers, leaving them completely defenseless. The total amount of the confiscated assets, businesses and media is approximately 1 billion USD.

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