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Judge claims president's attorney dictated original sentence against "El Universo"

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On Tuesday 14 February 2012, Judge Mónica Encalada, who saw the case against "El Universo" before the newspaper, its directors and a former feature writer were convicted by a first instance court for the crimes of offences against President Rafael Correa, left a written statement addressed to the Guayas District Attorney's Office, declaring that the sentence had been written by one of the Chief of State's attorneys.

Her declarations were made as part of the preliminary investigation process involving Judge Juan Paredes, for the crimes of prevarication and inserting false statements in a document. "El Universo"'s defense attorneys denounced Paredes after presenting evidence that he was not the author of the first instance sentence that convicted the paper's three directors and a former feature writer to three years in prison and the payment of US$40 million.

Encalada declared the following before the Guayas District Attorney's Office: "I received a call to my phone and was able to recognize it was one of the accuser's attorneys, who told me I would be in charge of the hearing the following day... '"number one" is happy, because he says he gets on well with women who can wear trousers better than men. Therefore, you will be in charge of writing the sentence. Just go on with the hearing, you have our backing and "number one"s backing'. I said that would be irregular, because a resolution by the judge in charge of the indictment already existed, and I would wait to be notified by the seventh judge and for things to proceed as established by law".

Encalada also said that Judge Paredes spoke with her to let her know that Gutemberg Vera (one of Correa's lawyers) "will not charge anything for this trial, he will get the money charged for the debts held by the closed banks and that also amounts to millions.... Whoever writes the sentence will participate in this business. The sentence will also order that three million dollars must be paid in lawyers' fees and he is willing to give 25% of this to whoever holds the hearing and issues the sentence, and this person only has to hold the hearing and notify the sentence, which will be historic. The sentence is well prepared and founded because Gutemberg has been working for two weeks". This is part of the statement disclosed by attorney Joffre Campaña, part of "El Universo"'s legal team, during a press conference.

Campaña stated before the press that these declarations ratify the accusation that Judge Paredes did not write the sentence and confirm that the attorney Vera did, using the pirate Windows username "Chucky Seven".

According to various media, after making this statement Judge Encalada left the country fearing for her safety.

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