Ecuador President To 'respond' To Prosecutor's Pandora Probe


Ecuador president to 'respond' to prosecutor's Pandora probe

Quito, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Oct, 2021 ) :Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso will cooperate with the public prosecutor's office after it opened an investigation into his business dealings following revelations in the Pandora papers leaks, his press secretary said on Friday.

The public prosecutor's office announced on Thursday it is investigating Lasso over alleged tax fraud.

Earlier this month, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) leaked a trove of documents exposing the secret offshore accounts of a host of world leaders, including former banker Lasso.

The leaks claimed Lasso, who assumed office in May, controlled 14 offshore companies, mostly in Panama, and closed them after former leftist president Rafael Correa (2007-17) barred presidential hopefuls from owning firms in tax havens.

Lasso "respects the actions of all the state legal bodies and will therefore respond to the relevant bodies to comply with the law," said the presidency's communications secretary in a statement.

The president has denied any wrongdoing but on Wednesday refused to appear before a parliamentary committee in the opposition-dominated congress that has opened a probe into the leaks.

Lasso insists that he made "legitimate investments in other countries" that he got rid of to allow him to stand in the 2017 election.

He has claimed he was forced to invest his money abroad due to a law barring bankers from doing so at home.

The public prosecutor opened an inquiry following a complaint made by Yaku Perez, a left-wing indigenous leader who was a presidential candidate in February, narrowly missing out on reaching the second round run-off.