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Ecuador’s former president found guilty of corruption

Rafael Correa has been handed a jail term of eight years.

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Ecuador’s former president Rafael Correa (Mark Carlson/AP)

Ecuador’s former president Rafael Correa (Mark Carlson/AP)

Ecuador’s former president Rafael Correa (Mark Carlson/AP)

An Ecuadorian court has found former president Rafael Correa guilty of corruption and sentenced him to eight years in prison.

Judge Ivan Leon said prosecutors had proved the existence of a “structure of corruption” led by Correa and 19 other high-profile politicians and business leaders accused of participating in the bribery scheme.

The decision could effectively end any aspirations by Correa to return to politics, as a conviction bars him from running for office.

He has denied the charges against him, calling them a political witch hunt.

The 57-year-old former head of state lives in his wife’s native Belgium. He said on Twitter: “I am sure we will win on the international level.”

PA