The arrest of the former Vice President is illegal

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The defence team for former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas has hailed a decision declaring his arrest inside Mexico’s embassy in Quito illegal.
In its ruling on Friday, a three-member tribunal in Ecuador found that the arrest on embassy grounds had indeed been “illegal and arbitrary”.
In the hours before his arrest, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry announced it had granted political asylum to Glas, who had been sheltering in its embassy in Quito since December.
But the embassy raid ignited a full-blown spat between Mexico and Ecuador.
But the government of Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa has sought to defend the raid as authorised by executive decree.
In addition, it argued that Glas should not be eligible for political asylum, as his convictions were not the result of persecution.
Still, while the tribunal ruled that the arrest itself was illegal, it decided Glas should remain behind bars, given his prior convictions.
Glas is currently serving his prison term in Guayaquil, where he is conducting a hunger strike in protest.

NEUTRAL

The legal team representing former vice president of Ecuador Jorge Glas has applauded a ruling that ruled his detention inside the Mexican embassy in Quito to be unlawful.

Nevertheless, attorney Sonia Vera Garcia promised on Friday to file an appeal of the decision that maintained her client’s incarceration.

She posted on social media platform X, saying, “We thank the international community.”. With its backing, the detention was deemed arbitrary, which was a positive development. “.

But Jorge is still being held. Until we win his release, we will continue to file appeals. “.

The decision was made in response to Francisco Hidalgo, a member of Glas’s left-wing political organization Citizen Revolution, who filed a writ of habeas corpus earlier this week on the former vice president’s behalf, claiming his detention was illegal.

International tensions had persisted since Glas’s arrest. The Mexican embassy was stormed by Ecuadorian police on April 5. They scaled the fence and pointed a gun at a senior diplomat who attempted to block their entry.

A three-person Ecuadorian tribunal determined on Friday that the embassy-based arrest had in fact been “illegal and arbitrary.”.

According to Judge Monica Heredia, “the detention became illegal without authorization from the head of the Foreign Ministry and political affairs at the Mexican embassy in Ecuador.”.

Embassies and consulates are shielded from local law enforcement intervention by international law. Theoretically, diplomats can carry out delicate work without worrying about facing backlash from their host nation thanks to the “rule of inviolability.”.

However, vulnerable public personalities such as Glas have also resorted to embassies as a means of temporary safety from arrest, given that local police are not allowed inside without authorization.

Due to allegations of corruption, Glas was found guilty twice. Six years in 2017 and eight years in 2020 were the terms of his prison sentences.

Glas had been taking refuge in Mexico’s embassy in Quito since December, and the ministry announced just hours before Glas was arrested that he had been granted political asylum.

However, Mexico and Ecuador went into full blows after the embassy raid.

Following it, Mexico called off diplomatic relations and sent its embassy employees back to Ecuador. Not only has the Organization of American States (OAS) condemned the police raid, but so have several Latin American countries.

However, Daniel Noboa’s administration in Ecuador has attempted to defend the raid on the grounds that it was approved by executive order.

It further maintained that since Glas’s convictions did not stem from persecution, he should not be granted political asylum.

The government’s defense of the raid, however, “lacks legal basis,” the three-member tribunal declared on Friday.

Glas should stay in jail because of his past convictions, the tribunal concluded, even though the arrest itself was unlawful.

Judge Heredia declared, “This tribunal cannot modify the sentence.”.

In protest, Glas is going on a hunger strike while he serves his sentence in Guayaquil. Earlier this week, he was hospitalized.

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