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Monday, August 27, 2007

Ecuador President confident congress will reject lifting of his immunity

People's Daily Online, August 26, 2007
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Saturday said he believes the congress will reject the Supreme Court's request to lift his legal immunity so as to put him on trial on defamation charges.

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Congress to lift Correa's legal immunity so a defamation suit filed against him by a former government official could proceed.

The approval of two-thirds of lawmakers is needed to put a president on trial in the country.

"I have faith that the lawmakers will act in accordance with the law, with justice, and will deny lifting the president's immunity," Correa said in his weekly radio address.

Quinto Pazmino, a former aide to the economy minister, filed a defamation suit against Correa for calling him a "swine" and "mentally unbalanced" after Pazmino leaked a video that set off a scandal over the government's debt management.

The video shows then-Economy Minister Ricardo Patino meeting with investors, discussing a plan to manipulate bond prices. Patino, who left his post as economy minister in July to head another ministry, has denied any wrongdoing and said he taped the meeting to expose corruption in the debt markets.

Source: Xinhua

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