Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Justice For Sale To Highest Bidder

The March 11, 2014 New York Times has an article about two Ecudaoran brothers who our government won't extradite:
The donations kept pouring in: hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to President Obama and more than a dozen members of Congress, carefully routed through the families of two wealthy brothers in Florida.
They had good reason to be generous. The two men, Roberto and William Isaias, are fugitives from Ecuador, which has angrily pressed Washington to turn them over, to no avail. A year after their relatives gave $90,000 to help re-elect Mr. Obama, the administration rejected Ecuador’s extradition request for the men, fueling accusations that such donations were helping to keep the brothers and their families safely on American soil.
There do seem to be some legitimate questions about how strong Ecuador's case against these brothers are --- but the description of the crimes sound like something that Obama's American contributors like to do:
In 2012, the two were sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison in Ecuador in what the government there calls a scheme to run a bank into the ground by making loans to businesses they controlled and then presenting false balance sheets to get bailout funds.
What's interesting is that even though the U.S. ambassador regarded the evidence as not terribly strong, it appears that even she regarded these guys as scoundrels:
In 2005, Kristie A. Kenney, then the American ambassador to Ecuador, wrote a scathing cable to Washington accusing the brothers of financing a $2 million bribe to get Ecuador’s attorney general to drop the case. She acknowledged then that the government of Ecuador offered feeble documentation to back up its extradition request, but she attributed that to pressure from the Isaias family, which owned 27 radio stations, three newspapers and a sugar production company.

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