Isaias brothers sentenced
to 8 years in prison
Xavier Castro, attorney for the former bank owners announced yesterday he would appeal the sentence and after exhausting all national courts would go before international tribunals.

Quito, Ecuador. April 12, 2012.-

The siblings Roberto and William Isaías Dassum, formerly president and vice president of the board of the defunct Filanbanco, were both sentenced to eight years of imprisonment as culprits for the crime of embezzlement.

The sentence was handed down by Judge Wilson Merino of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court of Justice (CNJ). The ruling was made 13 years after the suit was filed and after 54 judges had heard the matter.

According to Judge Merino’s ruling, four employees of the defunct bank should also serve an eight year prison sentence: Juan Franco Porras, ex General Manager and legal representative; Gaston García Gonzalez, internal accountant; and Leonardo Navas, general accountant. All were pointed out to be principals of the crime.

However, the former superintendent of Banks Jorge Egas Peña and Luis Jácome, former president of the Board of the Central bank of Ecuador (CBE), were sentenced to three years as accomplices.  Egas and Jácome had "collaborated in an indirect and secondary manner in the commission of the crime”.
Meanwhile, those acquitted were: Boanergues Pereira, Daniel Rodríguez, Gloria Avila, María del Carmen Castro and Tyrone Castro.


Judge Merino ordered that the sentenced parties be held in “interdiction”, in other words, they were left legally unable to manage their assets unless done so by a guardian, as well as suspending their civil liberties during the time of the sentence. According to what appears in the sentencing document, the CNJ issued the order for imprisonment and charged the General Commander of the National Police and the National Chief of the Judicial Police with locating and capturing the sentenced parties.  Additionally, the judges had highlighted that the administrators of Filanbanco did not present account statements and had “an irregular accounting that could be classified as illegal” based on the audit conducted by Price Waterhouse & Coopers.


Judge Merino stated that the notification of the sentence had been sent Tuesday afternoon to the judicial mailboxes of those charged in the case.  According to the Judge, the sentence could be appealed before a tribunal of the CNJ but, there was no possibility of revocation. 
Meanwhile, Xavier Castro, attorney for the former bank owners announced yesterday that he would appeal the sentence and after exhausting all the national courts would go before international tribunals.  He stated that there had been irregularities in the case because the law was being applied retroactively to convict them of embezzlement, a crime that did not exist when they were bankers.

Preparing the extradition

The Prosecutor General, Galo Chiriboga, announced that the extradition process against the Isaias Dassun brothers would be taken up again.  He assured that the Ministry’s acts would be within the guidelines set up by international covenants, which has nothing to do with the double nationality of those implicated. Chiriboga indicated that of all those charged, only the former Super Intendent of Banks, Jorge Egas, was in the country.  All the rest were out of the country.

The info: the sentence, from the trial was held according to the Criminal Procedure Code of 1983.

The lawsuit / Brief chronology

• In 2000, the Prosecutor filed the suit for the alleged crime of embezzlement (inappropriate use of public funds).
• At the end of 2002, the Prosecutor issued an order withdrawing the accusation.
• In 2003, the president of the ex Supreme Court of Justice decides to call the former owners of Filanbanco to trial.
• In July of 2008, the President, Rafael Correa, decrees the confiscation of the Isaias assets and almost 195 businesses are confiscated. 
• On January 15, 2010, the National Court of Justice determines that there was no embezzlement. After that decision, the alternate associate judges that made the decision were removed and ten days later new alternate associate judges were appointed to hear the matter. 
• The new alternate associate judges declare the ruling by the National Court as “non-existent” and decide to take the Isaias brothers to trial.  Later on, the judges were accused of prevarication.

The info: the defense attorneys would have three days according to the law to present a defense.  

Source: Diario La Hora

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