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Ecuador VP sentenced to 6-year jail term in Odebrecht scandal

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Ecuador VP sentenced to 6-year jail term in Odebrecht scandal

Ecuador's ousted Vice President Jorge Glas was sentenced to six years in prison Dec. 13 after a court found him guilty of accepting bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht SA in exchange for awarding public contracts, Reuters reported.

In October, a judge ordered Glas to be detained before trial during the Odebrecht investigation over accusations that he received a $13.5 million bribe from the company via his uncle.

"Glas constructed with (former Odebrecht executive) Jose Conceicao Santos, the awarding of public contracts in return for payment," Judge Edgar Flores said Dec. 13 while reading out his decision, according to Reuters.

His lawyer labeled the decision "unjust" while announcing his intent to appeal.

The company has admitted using bribery to secure contracts in a number of countries. It has paid $3.5 billion in settlements in the U.S., Brazil and Switzerland. The company allegedly paid bribes totaling $33.5 million in Ecuador.

Glas took office in 2013 under his ally ex-President Rafael Correa, and held on to the title under current President Lenin Moreno until August, when Moreno suspended him for not being a team player, the newswire noted.

The opposition accused Correa's government of delaying investigations. He rejected the claims.