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Last Updated: Monday, 9 May, 2005, 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK
House arrest for Ecuador's Noboa
Former Ecuadorean President Gustavo Noboa (archive image)
Noboa was on office for three years as a caretaker president
Ecuador's new authorities have put ex-President Gustavo Noboa under house arrest just months after his return from exile in the Dominican Republic.

Police delivered a warrant to his house in the city of Guayaquil, telling him he was under investigation over his handling of foreign debt talks.

Mr Noboa said his lawyers would resist "this abuse" and that he would appeal to the Organization of American States.

Two other former leaders also facing charges have left the country.

Abdala Bucaram, also an ex-president, is in Panama and former Vice-President Alberto Dahik is in Costa Rica.

'No escape'

The Supreme Court had cleared all three of charges in March, paving the way for their return.

However, the allegations were reinstated in April after President Lucio Gutierrez - Mr Noboa's successor - was voted out of office by parliament for violating the constitution.

Mr Noboa is accused of mishandling debt negotiations worth billions of dollars while in office. He denies the charge.

"The eyes of Latin America are fixed on Ecuador," he told Ecuador's Channel 2 television by telephone from his home.

He was quoted by The Associated Press news agency as saying he had not ruled out seeking asylum again in the Dominican Republic, where he spent two years.

Ecuadorean Interior Minister Mauricio Gandara said he was determined to prosecute Mr Noboa.

"Dahik and Bucaram escaped the country," he said. "The same will not happen with Noboa, who should face justice for the accusations against him."

Q&A: Ecuador's latest upheaval
24 Apr 05 |  Americas
Ecuador ex-head goes into exile
24 Aug 03 |  Americas
Country profile: Ecuador
21 Apr 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Ecuador
21 Apr 05 |  Country profiles

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