Ecuador’s vice president sentenced to six-year prison term in Odebrecht probe

World Today

Ecuador's Vice President Jorge Glas

Ecuador’s Vice President Jorge Glas was sentenced to six-years in prison on bribery charges involving Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. He’s the highest-ranking politician to be convicted in the scandal that has spread across Latin America.

CGTN’s Dan Collyns has details from Lima.

The prosecutor accused Glas of receiving about $13-and-a-half million dollars from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. Officials say the payments came through his uncle in exchange for handing state contracts to the scandal-ridden firm.

Glas was a close ally of Ecuador’s former president Rafael Correa, serving as his vice president back in 2013. But current President Lenin Moreno suspended Glas from his vice presidential duties in August following a public break with Correa.

With the sentencing, Glas becomes the highest-ranking politician convicted in the wide-ranging Odebrecht probe, which has implicated officials in 12 nations.

In Peru, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is under attack after it was revealed he received payments from Odebrecht more than 10 years ago while he was working as a consultant. Some of the payments may have come after he began serving as a government minister.

Kuczynski had previously denied any links with the company and criticized predecessors who face criminal charges for allegedly taking bribes.

He has denied any wrongdoing, and said he’s willing to answer questions in a congressional probe. But that hasn’t stopped members of the political opposition calling for his immediate resignation. So far, Kuczynski is standing firm.