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Ecuador brings Mexico to ICJ over asylum for graft-accused former vice president

Ecuador brings Mexico to ICJ over asylum for graft-accused former vice president
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 29, 2024 9:19 PM

Ecuador takes Mexico to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over its decision to grant asylum to former vice president Jorge Glas, accused of corruption

Ecuador took Mexico to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday over its decision to grant asylum to Jorge Glas, a former vice president accused of corruption.

The move comes after Ecuadorian security forces stormed the Mexican embassy in Quito to arrest Glas, prompting a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

In a statement issued by the foreign ministry, Ecuador filed a case with the ICJ in The Hague, alleging that Mexico violated several international obligations by granting asylum to Glas at its embassy in Quito. The controversial embassy raid on April 5th led to condemnation from several nations and the withdrawal of Mexican diplomats from Ecuador.

Mexico retaliated by filing a lawsuit against Ecuador at the ICJ, seeking to have the country suspended from the United Nations. A hearing on this matter is scheduled for Tuesday, where both countries will present their arguments.

Ecuador’s new filing with the ICJ accuses Mexico of unlawfully using its embassy to shield Glas from prosecution and interfering in its internal affairs. The Ecuadorian government argues that the asylum granted to Glas was illegal and arbitrary.

The incident at the embassy has sparked international outrage and raised concerns about diplomatic immunity and territorial sovereignty. Despite criticism, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa defended the raid, citing the need to detain Glas, who is facing corruption charges dating back to his time in office from 2013 to 2017.

Following his arrest, Glas was taken to a maximum-security prison in Guayaquil, where he remains detained. He was briefly hospitalized after refusing to eat, with officials stating it was due to a suicide attempt.

Glas, who had previously served five years in prison for corruption, now faces new graft charges for which an arrest warrant was issued in January. Despite a ruling by Ecuador’s National Court of Justice declaring the embassy raid illegal and arbitrary, Glas remains behind bars pending further investigation.

The diplomatic rift between Ecuador and Mexico was further exacerbated by comments made by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who suggested that the murder of a presidential candidate in Ecuador had benefited President Noboa’s chances in the 2023 elections. Ecuador deemed these remarks offensive and ordered the expulsion of the Mexican ambassador, leading to Glas seeking asylum at the embassy.

The ICJ proceedings are expected to shed light on the complex legal and diplomatic issues surrounding the asylum case, with both Ecuador and Mexico presenting their respective arguments before the international court.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:52 PM