Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, quoted in the Pandora Papers, declined to testify Wednesday before a parliamentary commission investigating the matter, saying the commission’s second request was to appear “on mandatory basis” on Friday.
According to the International Federation of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Guillermo Lasso controlled 14 foreign companies – most of them based in Panama – that closed after former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017) passed a law in 2017 banning them from owning presidential candidates. Companies in tax paradise.
105 of the 137 MPs voted to open an inquiry against the conservative president, who sought to clarify whether he had “violated” the legal mandate of the ethical agreement by preventing candidates and officials from taxing their resources or their assets in asylums.
In a letter, Mr. Lasso promised to be ready to receive members of the commission in the seat of government. “I have a right to know in advance the assertions that have been put forward,” he said.
Faced with a refusal to appear before the commission, its chairman, Jose Cabasco (left), concluded its session on Wednesday and summoned the head of state for the second time this Friday.
To testify, the president’s wife and son apologized to the commission, arguing that they were not civil servants and therefore did not have to attend.
“I have not violated my candidacy for the presidency since or until today,” the head of state promised in his letter, banning the possession of property in tax paradise.
The former banker acknowledged that he simply had “legitimate investments in other countries” and he removed it in order to be a candidate in the winning spring 2021 election.
He also asked the Registrar General’s Office to inspect his assets, and he said he would dismiss the bank secret for questioning.
In Latin America, in addition to the President of Ecuador, Chile, Sebastian Pinera and the leaders of the Dominican Republic, Louis Abinader, appeared at the trial of the Pandora Papers.
In Chile, Mr. Pinara is facing a criminal investigation and is facing the threat of an indictment launched by the opposition for selling a mining concession tainted with suspicion of corruption.