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Correa hits out at Lenin Moreno after Interpol file closed

FORMER Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa hit out at his “political persecution” yesterday as Interpol closed a red notice issued against him by his successor Lenin Moreno.

He said the decision confirmed that the entire process was a form of “lawfare” used to prevent him from standing in elections, with Mr Moreno’s government making “fools of themselves.”

Ecuador initially filed a request for a red notice — an international wanted persons notice — with Interpol in July 2018 after accusing Mr Correa of involvement in the kidnapping of former opposition legislator Fernando Balda, which he denies.

The request was rejected in October 2018, when Interpol said that there was a lack of evidence linking the former president to the kidnapping.

It said that the petition for his arrest did not meet the necessary requirements for such cases.

Mr Moreno’s government asked Interpol for an update on Mr Correa’s details. The former president is currently living in Belgium with his family.

But the body confirmed in writing on July 31 that it had closed the file on Mr Correa and said that pursuing him was incompatible with human rights.

Mr Correa told the Star yesterday: “This decision shows that, at the international level, they are making a fool of themselves and once again delegitimising the Moreno government.”

He said that it confirmed what he has maintained for the past three years – that he is being politically persecuted.

In April, a court sentenced Mr Correa in absentia to eight years in jail for bribery, which he denies, insisting that the charges were an attempt to block his candidacy.

On the eve of the verdict, leaked emails showed alleged collusion between the judge and chief prosecutor.

The Moreno has also blocked Mr Correa’s Social  Commitment movement from contesting next year’s election.

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