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Ecuador's Former Presidents Cleared of Corruption Charges

The president of Ecuador's Supreme Court has overturned corruption charges against former presidents Abdala Bucaram and Gustavo Noboa, clearing the way for the former leaders to return from exile.

Thursday, Supreme Court President Guillermo Castro, said to be a personal friend of Mr. Bucaram, dismissed all charges against the former presidents then cleared Ecuador's former Vice President Alberto Dahik of corruption charges as well. Several judges have called for the removal of Judge Castro over the decisions.

Mr. Bucaram left office in February 1997 after only six months in office. Ecuador's Congress dismissed him for mental incompetence over the misuse of public funds. Mr. Bucaram plans to leave exile in Panama and return to Ecuador within days.

Mr. Noboa received political asylum in the Dominican Republic.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.