By SAMUEL PETREQUIN
BRUSSELS (AP) — Former Ecuador president Rafael Correa says the political asylum he has been granted in Belgium is proof he is persecuted by his country’s authorities. In an interview with The Associated Press, Correa did not rule out a return to politics. Correa, who in 2020 was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to eight years in prison in absentia, has been living in his wife’s native Belgium since 2017. Though Ecuadorian authorities have demanded his arrest and extradition previously, thus far he has been allowed to stay in Belgium. Ecuador’s National Court of Justice sent a new extradition request for Correa last week. But the former head of state has been granted asylum, with the status of refugee.