March 9, 1997 in Nation/World

Ecuador’s ‘El Loco’ Has A Crazy Defense

Compiled From Wire Services

Ousted former president Abdala Bucaram has been charged with corruption for allegedly squandering or stealing $88 million in government funds during his six-month tenure. One of his aides was caught carrying $3.4 million and was arrested, officials said Saturday.

Bucaram, whose colorful antics earned him the moniker “El Loco,” was expelled from the presidency last month after Congress judged him mentally incompetent. Now, he is trying to use his downfall to his advantage: If he’s too crazy to be president, he argues, then according to the constitution he can’t be subject to corruption charges.

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