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Ecuador President Called To Testify

October 26, 1999

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (AP) _ President Jamil Mahuad will be called to testify before a tribunal investigating the alleged misuse of campaign contributions during his run for president last year, a judge said Monday.

Guayaquil criminal court Judge Isabel Segarra also ordered that ex-campaign treasurer Ramon Yulee be detained. Yulee resigned last week as secretary of the presidency.

It was unclear Monday whether the criminal tribunal in this coastal city had the authority to order the president to testify.

Segarra announced her intention to subpoena Mahuad, and ordered Yulee’s arrest, based on a criminal complaint from Fernando Aspiazu, a Guayaquil banker and staunch presidential rival who has been jailed since July on charges of misusing bank funds.

Aspiazu said he donated $3.1 million to Mahuad’s 1998 campaign, but that the money was never declared. He accused Mahuad’s campaign handlers of ``diverting″ both his donation and those of other bankers.

Ecuador’s Supreme Election Tribunal said Monday that Mahuad’s campaign declared funds of about $4 million. But it was unclear whether Aspiazu’s alleged contribution was part of that sum.

Segarra said she also would subpoena Eduardo Mahuad, the president’s brother, who managed the campaign, as well as three other bankers.

Mahuad, the Harvard-educated ex-mayor of the capital, Quito, took office on Aug. 10, 1998, on a centrist ticket. His term runs until January 2003.

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