QUITO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Ecuador’s public prosecutor’s office on Monday requested pre-trial detention for the Andean country’s Vice President Jorge Glas as part of an investigation into Brazilian construction company Odebrecht’s corruption scandal.
“(Prosecutor) Carlos Baca requests preventative prison for Jorge Glas after finding new elements of evidence in the investigation over his illicit association,” the prosecutor’s office said on Twitter.
A judge is expected to make a decision on the request later on Monday. Glas is under investigation but has not been formally charged.
An electric engineer who oversaw the oil and infrastructure sectors while serving as strategic sectors minister between 2010 and 2012, Glas has said there is no proof he was involved in corruption and has dismissed the accusations as politically motivated.
“This process has been plagued with irregularities. The presumption of innocence has not been respected,” Glas said in a written response posted on Twitter.
Fallout from the massive Odebrecht corruption saga continues to sweep Latin America. The company, which has admitted to paying bribes to win contracts in a number of countries, has already paid $3.5 billion in settlements in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland, and embroiled politicians across the region.
Glas, 48, had previously been accused by a fugitive former oil minister of being “the ringleader” of a bribe network in the energy sector.
A close ally of leftist ex-President Rafael Correa, Glas served as Correa’s vice president from 2013 and retained the position under current President Lenin Moreno. In August he was suspended from his duties by Moreno, who accused him of not being a team player. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia, Writing by Alexandra Ulmer, Editing by Rosalba O‘Brien)