Ecuador court upholds ex-vice president's prison sentence

Ecuador's vice president Jorge Glas gestures on arrival at the National Court of Justice for his sentencing hearing, in Quito, Ecuador, on December 13, 2017

Ecuador on Wednesday reaffirmed the six-year prison sentence given to former vice president Jorge Glas for receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks as part of a corruption scandal, the prosecutor's office said.

Glas, who was convicted of receiving $13.5 million in bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, has been imprisoned in Latacunga, south of Quito, since 2017.

The National Supreme Court of Justice declared Glas's appeal inadmissible and so "the sentence was ratified," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

He served as the vice president under leftist Rafael Correa between 2013 and 2017, and under current president Lenin Moreno in 2017 before he was stripped of his office in 2018.

Judge Daniella Camacho said his original sentence of six years did not violate any constitutional rights, the prosecutor said.

Glas, who was sentenced in December 2017, could still appeal to the Constitutional Court.

Glas is also facing prosecution for another case that could carry a prison sentence of up to 13 years in which he is accused of illicitly awarding an oil field contract. The prosecutor's office said the incident cost the country $28 million.

Glas's former boss Correa, who was president from 2007 to 2017 and currently lives in Belgium, himself faces a prison sentence for links to the kidnapping of a political rival in Columbia during his administration.