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Jail release of ex-PAN boss appealed

Guardia Jaen in El Renacer prison.

THE RELEASE from jail  of former National Assistance Program (PAN) Director Rafael Guardia Jaén who is facing charges in some dozen investigations  is  being appealed by  the SpecialAnti­Corruption Prosecutor 

The release decision was made  the Fifth Criminal Court and is related to the case involving irregularities in the purchase of musical instruments.

Guardia Jaén has been detained in El Renacer Prison since November 2014.

According to the release  precautionary measure, he must appear once a month before the authorities of the Public Ministry and cannot leave the country.

The Attorney General’s Office said  the appeal was filed before the Fifth Circuit Court on Feb. 23.

Prosecutors have also presented a notice of appeal of the 15th Criminal Court decision regarding Guardia Jaén’s detention in cases related to the purchase of tire rims, backpacks, food and other items.

Guardia Jaén’s lawyer, Victor Orobio, said that his client received the same precautionary measure in those cases as he did in the musical instruments case.

Guardia Jaen was admitted to a private hospital for six months during his pre-trial detention.



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Ex-PAN boss ready to talk in plea bargain

Guardia Jaen

THE FORMER director of the National Assistance Program (PAN), Rafael Guardia Jaén,  facing numerous corruption charges is ready to talk in exchange for a reduced sentence

He has been detained at El Renacer Prison since November 2014 and  is seeking a plea agreement.

His defense lawyer Victor Orobio has submitted a letter of intent to Attorney General Kenia Porcell in which he would accept a reduced sentence in exchange for information.

Guardia Jaén was recently released from prison based on decisions by the Fifth and Fifteenth  dcriminal courts, but he has been prohibited from leaving the country. The decisions, which are  being appealed by prosecutors, are due to his poor health.

The PAN program has been the subject of a number of allegations related to corruption during the administration of former President Ricardo Martinelli, who appointed Guardia Jaén


Obarrio with Martinelli and his wife Marta Martinelli

Martinelli messenger
Guardia Jaen  and another former director Giacomo Tamburelli  have accused Martinelli of issuing instructions for purchases now under investigations, through  his  private secretary  Adolfo “Chichi” De Obarrio, who had a notoriously grand and expensive wedding costing scores of thousands of dollars  although he was receiving only $5,000 a month salary before tax. An  Internet Red Alert is in place for Obarrio who fled the country on Christmas Day, 2014.



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Ex-PAN boss rushed from jail to Santo Tomas


THE FORMER Director of  The National Assistance Program (PAN) was rushed from the El Renacer Prison to Santo Tomas Hospital on Thursday, July 6.

Rafael Guardia Jaén, has been detained since  November 2014 awaiting trial on corruption charges

He was director of the PAN) during the previous government.

“I feel bad, I can’t stand the pain  anymore,” said Guardia Jaen when he arrived, handcuffed and guarded, at the hospital in Panama City.

He said that, for 30 dRenacer she had not received the medicines he needed reports La Prensa.

His  lawyer Victor Orobio said that his client has severe lumbar pain and other ailments.

Orobio said that soon the Supreme  Court must make important decisions regarding protecting his client’s health.

Guardia Jaen’s successor at PAN, Guillermo Tamborelli, is also awaiting trial, and is under house arrest. He has heart surgery shortly after his arrest on corruption charges.  He claims he was visited by Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli and dirty tricks operator  to change  his testimony that his transgressions were at the order of Martinelli.



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Food bags scandal trial delay

pre-election hand-out

39 people are  expectare expectedbezzlement charges  in  November at the preliminary hearing into Panama’s food bags  scandal .

Some $47 million was spent on distributing bags in  four months leading up to the last  election. The purchase was made  with funds from the defunct National Assistance Program (PAN).

On  Saturday  July 15  the Criminal Court suspended a scheduled  hearing Scheduled for that day, arguing that the Second High Court has yet to resolve a request to accumulate the processes followed to the ex-director of PAN Rafael Guardia Jaén, who has been detained

in El Renacer prison  since November 2014, for the alleged commission of crimes against Public administration during the government of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014).

32 months have passed since the Public Ministry (MP) initiated the investigation of this case, based on the denunciation of a protected witness.

Eleven  months have elapsed since the Public Ministry sent the  process to the Judicial Branch.

The movements of money that took place in the PAN during the administration of Guardia Jaén included the Purchase of at least $57 million in food bags. Out of this , $43 million was spent in only 4 months, between January and April 2014, prior to the elections in May of that year.

The remainder of what was spent on the purchase of food bags – $14 million – was used between November and December 2014



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Ex-PAN boss may end 30 months detention cell stay

Rafael Guardia Jaen

THE FORMER Director of the  National Assistance Program (PAN),  in  preventive detention for over two- and-a-half-years has been granted  house arrest in some of the cases in which he is involved

Rafael Guardia Jaén, is a central figure  in multiple corruption cases allegedly involving many senior figures in the previous administration, including the former president  Ricardo Martinelli.

The Second Superior Court of has granted a move to house arrest with monthly reporting and no departure from the country without judicial authorization.

A bulletin from the Judicial Branch says that the decision applies to three processes that follow Guardian Jaén: those of alleged overcharges in the purchases of food, grain and tires, with funds of the PAN  during his management.

He will however remain in detention, as in another case – the “Piso y Techo” program – the appeal for a change in the detention order has not yet been resolved.

The Second High Court – with the signature of the Judges Adolfo Mejía (rapporteur) and Secundino Mendieta – considered that  the “serious health situation of  Guardia Jaen “is the reason why a precautionary measure other than preventive  detention becomes imperative ”

Additionally, Guardia Jaén does not appear to represent a danger to society, belong to criminal organizations or have  pending sentences. Nor is there risk of destruction of evidence, as the stage of summary investigation is concluded.

The magistrates also accepted  the opinions of medical specialists of the Santo Tomas Hospital And  the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf) and El Renacer prison, “which testify to his delicate health condition”

Two weeks ago, Guardia Jaén was rushed  to Santo Tomas, where his health was “stabilized”. However, “his state of mind and physical condition deteriorated once he returned to the prison” which is not able to cope with his illness said the court.

His medical assessment is in sharp contrast to that of another corruption  suspect who has remained cloistered in a luxury hospital for nearly two years.



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Prosecutors accused of deception in collaboration deal


THE FORMER  director of the defunct National Assistance Program (PAN), Rafael Guardia Jaén, moved from the El Renacer Prison to house arrest in San Miguelito on Friday July 28.

He had been detained since November 2014 while under investigation in numerous corruption cases.

The move to his son’s home, in the area in which he used to live before  joining the Martinelli administration, was dictated by declining health conditions according to the court system

In statements at  the prison, his lawyer Víctor Orobio said that the move  was given without the use of political influences or with the support of the Public Ministry which he denounced  for “deception” to his client “Rafael Guardia was used by the MP as a scapegoat … and nothing was worth it,” he said.

Orobio, added  that his client received no procedural benefit, despite having cooperated with all the investigations.

He  is facing charges in the Floor Roof Program. and in the cases of the purchase of musical instruments, rental of helicopters, backpack purchases and grains purchases.

He is also investigated  for money laundering and in another case related to an  ex-candidate for a deputy seat , who would have received articles from the PAN in his campaign.

According to the Judicial Branch, the new precautionary measure includes reporting once a month  and prohibition of leaving the country, without prior judicial authorization.

The decision was based on various medical evaluations of Guardia Jaén by Santo Tomás Hospital the Institute of Legal Medicine and the director of the El Renacer medical center According to one of the medical reports, the health of the detainee has suffered “an evident deterioration” and it would be dangerous to keep him in the penitentiary

According to one of the medical reports, the health of the detainee has suffered “an evident deterioration” and it would be dangerous to keep him in the penitentiary

Danger  of flight or neglect of the court  process was “remote” due to the ailments and treatments,

Víctor Orobio, said that his client felt “deceived and betrayed”  because the Public Ministry promised to give him a precautionary measure or preferential treatment in exchange for his testimony, but did not comply

“In the public prosecutor’s office there are prosecutors who hurt the institution,” said the lawyer.



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Wrist slap and property return for multi-million thief

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THE FORMER head of the now-defunct National Assistance Program (PAN) Rafael Guardia Jaén,  charged with stealing multi-millions in the case involved in  the purchase of grains through the entity has been sentenced to five years in jail and gets to keep his mansion in Costa del Este, and other properties and more according to a plea bargain deal approved by The Fifteenth Criminal Judge, Leslie Loaiza, on  Wednesday, December 13.

The convicted felon wants to serve his time under house arrest

The judge acknowledged that Guardia Jaén already “returned” illegally acquired property valued at $30 million, that had been seized by the Anti-Corruption Public Prosecutor’s Office during the research phase.

The agreement was appealed by the Public Ministry, so the document will now go to the Second Superior Court of Justice.

Guardia Jaén’s  lawyer Víctor Orobio- said that up to $30 million in goods and money had been returned but  Jaen asked to keep real estate that was according to Orobio- acquired before he became director of PAN.

Specifically, it refers to a mansion in Costa del Este and two apartments.

The defense also requested the replacement of the prison sentence with house arrest.

Prosecutor Adecio Mojica refrained from commenting on that request to the judge, stating that he would wait for the second Superior Court to resolve the appeal.

Orobio and the Anticorruption prosecutor, Aurelio Vásquez, acting as spokesman for the Public Ministry, confirmed that the parties are working on collaboration agreements in other court cases on purchases with funds from the PAN.

The hearing before Judge Loaiza took place behind closed doors, for security reasons, Orobio said.



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Embezzler gets back mansion, yacht Porsche

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A NEAR $1million mansion in Costa del Este; a Porsche Cayenne; an apartment in Punta Pacifica and another in a San Carlos Spa; two Toyota trucks,  a yacht and 0ver  $100.000 spread in five bank accounts are some of the “possessions”  that will be returned to a felon convicted of embezzling and laundering scores of millions.

The laundered money came from a government assistance program under the direction of    Rafael Guardia Jaén,  and his “possessions” and luxury lifestyle are being returned to him courtesy of what anticorruption prosecutors call an “incomprehensible” decision by fifteenth criminal Judge Leslie Loaiza, at a hearing held on Wednesday, December 13.

the Office of the Prosecutor has already announced that it will submit a written appeal on the grounds that the judge acted, “without having a basic evidentiary support” that accredited that said goods were obtained “in a lawful way, ” reports La Prensa

The appeal – which must be resolved by the Second Superior Court – suspends, for now, the return of the goods to the former official.


For now “Boombastic” remains in state hands of th=

Meanwhile, the defense lawyer wants his client to serve his wrist-slap 5-year sentence under house arrest, with lots of room in his mansion to entertain and manage his affairs, and enough money in his bank accounts to pay the water and electricity bills for a few months.

Those unable to afford silver-tongued advocates, or to grease the wheels of justice have a harder time. Newsroom has recorded a cooperative employee sent to La Joya for six years for stealing $5,000.



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Judge sends  ominous  “Crime Pays” message

Embezzled millions, 5 years jail, possessions back
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The return of a mansion,  bank accounts a Porsche,  a yacht silverware  and other symbols of wealth to a former government official convicted  of embezzlement  and money laundering  is proof that  “crime pays and generates a “picture of impunity” to  ordinary citizens, say leaders  of civil society reacting to a decision of Fifteenth Criminal Judge Leslie Loaiza, which spurred cries of outrage and disbelief

The beneficiary of the of the decision  is the former director  of the now-defunct National Assistance  Program (PAN) Rafael Guardia Jaen

For the  Anticorruption Prosecutor, the decision was is “incomprehensible” and an appeal was launched on the grounds that the judge acted “without having basic evidentiary support “that will prove that the goods were obtained “in a lawful manner”.

Olga de Obaldía, executive director of the Foundation for the Development of  Citizen Liberty The  Panamanian chapter of Transparency International, said:  “What sense of justice is there in the country when this happens?

“When” we have a judicial system “that is not working as it should be, democracy itself is in danger. ”

Anette Planells, of the Independent Movement (Movin), described as terrible the message sent by Judge Loaiza, in the sense that ” crime does pay.” … That one can pay a couple of years in jail and enjoy what you stole, ” she said.

Planells said she hopes that the Second Superior Court of Justice will accept the appeal presented by the MP and “keep the assets guarded, which belong to all Panamanians”.

She recalled that this is not the judge’s first controversial decision, in which he seems to help Guardia Jaén and to go against the citizens. “We regret that there is no ethics and discipline tribunal  of the Judicial Organ when  the magistrates have not implemented the judicial career “,

Jorge González, presidential spokesman, said that the decision adopted by Loaiza “is outrageous” and creates an ominous precedent. “The country deserves respect and an explanation, he said. Citizens hope that there is certainty of punishment and that the justice system works,” he added.



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On 12/15/2017 at 12:54 PM, Keith Woolford said:

This guy was a nobody with some popsicle routes before Martinelli appointed him as director of the National Assistance program.

If he ever does get these assets back, there'll likely be some arson committed.

This is a sample of the rhetoric circulating in social media about the assets this guy would be allowed to keep based on the ruling of one judge. The State is appealing.


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Convicted embezzler returns assets

Lawyer Victor Orrobio

WITH AN APPEAL, against the return of millionaire lifestyle assets on  its way to  a  higher court the convicted  ex-director of the now defunct National Assistance Program (PAN), Rafael Guardia Jaén, has reacted to the public outcry and made available to the Public Ministry the assets that were not confiscated by the Fifteenth Court in the validation of the penalty agreement.

There are six bank accounts, three apartments, three vehicles, including the near $1 million mansion in  Costa del Este, which will now be transferred to the State’s assets.

“I offer my apologies to the country for what I considered it was my right to try to recover what I had obtained with my personal effort during all the years of work outside the Government and my duty to deliver what was wrong, but I understand the national dissatisfaction and for that reason I have taken this step “, said Guardia Jaén in an official notice that was announced  by his  lawyer Víctor Orobio, who has also come under fire.

The lawyer formalized the return of the assets before the Prosecutor’s Office so that they can be delivered to the judge. Guardia Jaén and the Prosecutor’s Office reached an agreement of five years in prison for the crimes of money laundering and embezzlement in the case of the purchase of grain through the PAN. Of the five years, Guardia has served three years since his arrest. Reports La Estrella

Civil society leaders had described his retention of the mansion and other assets as proof that “crime pays”



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Plea deal lets embezzler off $55 million hook

Rafael Guardia Jaen
The penalty agreement between the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor and the former head of the National Assistance Program (PAN), Rafael Guardia Jaén. exempts him from 15 criminal investigations.

According to the agreement, the anti-corruption prosecutors agree not to accuse Guardia  Jaén of crimes against the public administration and other criminal offences, totaling multi-millions of dollars that were filed in those cases or accuse him In  cases that may arise because of his  role as director of the PAN between 2012 and 2014, reports La Prensa.

The agreement is not firm, because the prosecution is appealing  the decision of the fifteenth criminal judge, Leslie Loaiza, to return several assets and accounts to Guardia Jaén,

On Monday, Dec. 18, through his lawyer, Víctor Orobio, a document in which he makes available to the prosecution the goods and money that the judge was released.

Orobio said his client took the step because of criticism of Loaiza’s decision.

the Public Prosecutor’s Office said that, despite the statement of Guardia Jaén, it will continue with the appeal of the property returned by the judge.

At least $4.4 million dollars from the (PAN) that Guardia  Jaén transferred to banks abroad have not yet been recovered by the Public Ministry.

This is confirmed in the penalty agreement signed between Guardia Jaén and the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, says La Prensa.

Guardia Jaén promised to return about $ 4.4 million that was remitted to banks abroad according to the document, the prosecution requested international assistance for the location and apprehension of these monies, which, mainly, were remitted to banks in the Bahamas.

“It is understood that monies that were transferred abroad […] will be subject to confiscation by the State, once this penalty agreement is executed, “the document states.

The possible damage to the State’s equity -calculated by the Office of the Comptroller General is at least $54.7 million. in 8 of the 15 cases in which the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) commits not to accuse the former head of the PAN .

The penalty agreement establishes that “the anticorruption discharge prosecutor’s offices agree not to accuse Rafael Guardia Jaén of the charges against the public administration and other criminal types that were formulated “in 15 criminal proceedings.

With this agreement, Guardia Jaén would be sentenced to a prison sentence of five years and is forced to return about $30 million in assets and bank accounts apprehended by the Public Ministry.

The agreement between the prosecutor’s office and Guardia Jaén was submitted to an approval hearing on  Dec.13 before Judge,  Loaiza.

In that hearing, when dictating the accessory punishment, Loaiza decided to return to Guardia Jaén six  bank accounts totaling about $ 100,000, three vehicles, including a Porsche Cayenne; two apartments, plus a mansion in Costa Del Este, valued at $940,000.



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OPINION: Sweetheart plea deal ignites alarms

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The effective collaboration agreement of Rafael Guardia Jaén raised the rejection of the citizenship because It involved the return of goods suspected of having been purchased with public funds. Now the beneficiary of the agreement has agreed to deliver this patrimony to the State, to silence the controversy and take advantage of this favorable opportunity. However, prosecutors agreed to eliminate 15 criminal proceedings they had against Guardia Jaén, in exchange for his participation as a witness against the others involved in these crimes, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office even undertakes not to investigate any other possible offense derived from its management in the National Aid Program. This overwhelming generosity ignites all the alarms about the subject. While in Brazil or the United States the penalties are reduced according to the effective collaboration, in Panama, the reduction of a sentence precedes cooperation. Could it be that the Public Ministry has all the causes investigated and delimited to make this offer? The example of the Guardia Jaén agreement demonstrates what we still have to learn to do justice in complex cases …LA PRENSA, Dec 19


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After 2 years no court date for $12.3 million scam

Prosecutor Tania Sterling speaks out
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ALMOST TWO YEARS  have elapsed since anti-corruption prosecutors sent to the judicial branch their investigations into  61 suspects in a $12.3 million scam involving grains intended to feed public schoolchildren.

Special corruption prosecutor Tania Sterling reported on a video released Sunday, April 15 that so far justices have not set a hearing date.

The case involves the purchase and distribution of grains with funds from the extinct National Aid Program (PAN).

According to the prosecutor’s investigation, an organized network operated by businessmen with links to the Martinelli administration was behind the scam as revealed in January 2015 by Rafael Guardia Jaén, who served as director of the PAN between 2012 and 2014, and who was detained in El Renacer jail in November 2014.

According to Guardia Jaén, the modus operandi was a supplier put together a package of three companies with respective offers. One of these companies met all the conditions to win the contract for the sale of lentils,  and beans.

The supplier presented three high priced quotes from the companies, and then submitted his own lower bid, which was sometimes more than double market prices.

Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli is under investigation for alleged involvement in another $46 million scam involving the purchase of beans.



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Embezzler loses plea-deal mansion

Goodbye to a mansion
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Panama’s  Second Superior Court has revoked the part of a penalty agreement that allowed the convicted ex-director of the extinct National Assistance Program (PAN),  to hang on to property and goods he acquired during his term at the corruption-ridden entity.

Rafael Guardia Jaen

Rafael Guardia Jaén, still awaiting trial on other charges. signed the deal last December.

In a judgment supported by the Judges Wilfredo Sáenz (rapporteur), Eda Gutiérrez and María Lourdes Estrada, the Second Court revoked the reference to the request return of goods in the penalty agreement, issued by the fifteenth criminal judge Leslie Loaiza. The court confirmed the rest of the agreement, which carries a five years jail term.

The decision of the Second Court is based on “the judge of the case has not reasoned the sentence regarding the delivery of the movable or immovable property, with relationship to the analysis necessary to establish whether they are lawful or illegal, in accordance with the evidence, the applicable legislation, among other aspects, which will allow to determine which goods are licit” said a press release

The defense of Rafael Guardia Jaén requested the return of bank accounts, cars and goods and real estate, including, a $940 000 mansion in Costa del Este, two luxury apartments, a Porsche Cayenne and other luxury vehicles and $100,000 cash.

The agreement was agreed upon in the embezzlement case involving Guardia in the purchase of grain with money from the PAN.

The anti-corruption prosecutor, Adecio Mójica, had appealed the release of bank accounts and the return of real estate to Guardia Jaén, ordered by Judge Loaiza.

OnMay 23, Guardia will have to attend a hearing, for another case: the purchase of school backpacks with PAN money.



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Convicted ex-PAN director facing additional charges

Posted on May 11, 2018 in Panama

Rafael Guardia Jaen
Post Views: 158
Rafael Guardia Jaen whose sweetheart deal for the return of his property after being found guilty of embezzlement will be back in court for a hearing in another case.

The former director of the National Assistance Program (PAN)  will be in court on May 23 if lawyers fail to come up with another delaying tactic.

The preliminary hearing is for alleged illegalities in the purchase of school backpacks through the (PAN), and judicial authorities have ruled it will be open to the public.

Nineteen ex-officials and businessmen are also investigated for the alleged illegalities in the contracts for the distribution of the backpacks between 2010 and 2014.

The hearing was remitted to the  Fifteenth Criminal Court by the Second Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in March 2016, but the hearings that had been fixed for 2016 were canceled, over excuses presented by defense lawyers.


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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Rafael Guardia Jaén (Former Director of National Assistance Program [PAN]) and Others Facing Corruption Charges
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Martinelli brother among 17 embezzlement defendants

Mario Martinelli
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The Anti-corruption Discharge Prosecutor’s Office has called for the prosecution of 17 people including former officials and merchants- for alleged embezzlement, corruption of officials and fraud linked to the purchase and distribution of school backpacks through the National Assistance Program (PAN).

The request was made  Wednesday, May 23, during a preliminary hearing in the Fifteenth Criminal Court,  before  Judge Leslie Alberto Loaiza.

The prosecution requested a call to trial of Mario Martinelli Berrocal, brother of ex-president  Ricardo Martinelli; the former Minister of Education Lucy Molinar and Adolfo De Obarrio the former private secretary of the ex-president.



The request also listed PAN suppliers and ex-employees Roberto Brin, Roberto Lucerondo, Jaime Ruiz, Franklin Alberto Araúz Ríos, Carlos Araúz Valdez, René Guardia Camargo, Pablo Andrés and Daniel Ruiz Obregon, Janeth Arauz de Caballero, Poulett Morales Montero, Eliécer Elías Tuñón Jaén, Julissa Lizbeth Stanziola Spencer, Abraham Williams and Berta Roldán.

A dismissal was requested for Giácomo Tamburrelli, a director of the PAN in the past government.

Previously, the judge validated the agreement of collaboration agreed between Rafael Guardia Jaén – and the prosecution. This was the second collaboration agreement of Guardia Jaén, validated by a judge.(He succeeded Tamburelli at PAN). The first was in the process for the purchase of grains, in which the former official pled guilty to  a crime against the public administration.



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CD lawmaker corruption files to Supreme Court

Manuel Cohen
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Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Zuleyka Moore has sent to the Supreme Court files linking a CD legislator to illicit deals in government contracts granted by the extinct National Assistance  Program (PAN).

Investigated is Deputy Manuel Cohen over contracts for the construction of roads and other works in  Herrera.

The prosecutor confirmed that she sent the copies of the file to the Court, after a collaboration agreement with former PAN director Rafael Guardia Jaén, who confessed that Cohen asked that the contracts be assigned to certain companies.

The statement of Guardia Jaén was revealed at the validation hearing of the agreement,  in the Fifteenth Criminal Court.

In the hearing, anti-corruption prosecutor Lizzie Bonilla -who represented the Public Ministry read the confession of Guardia Jaén, who, in addition, affirmed that Cohen imposed the negotiations with the companies and even managed the corresponding transfers of deals.

The conversations on the subject, according to what Bonilla read occurred in the offices of Abraham Williams, who served as assistant to Guardia Jaén in the PAN.

In the last government, the PAN granted multi-million dollar contracts to four companies linked to Heriberto Yunito Vega for projects in Herrera.

On Tuesday, the fifteenth criminal judge, Leslie Loaiza, took refuge in the 30-day period given by law to decide whether to call to trial to five people accused of alleged embezzlement, among them Yunito Vega and the former ex-director of the PAN Giacomo Tamburrelli reports La Prensa.



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Embezzler’s assets under the hammer

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AN APARTMENT in the Vista Mar Complex, in San Carlos seized by  Panama’s  Ministry of Finance (MEF) from Rafael Guardia Jaén, former Director of the National Assistance Program (PAN), has been auctioned for $167,912.60.

Guardia Jaen

The apartment, 10C, in the Las Olas building,  base price.   has three bedrooms each with a bathroom, a bedroom for a domestic, dining room, gym, infinity pool, and jacuzzi.

It went to the DMVG Foundation and was the third sale of assets seized from Guardia Jaén convicted and jailed for embezzlement, and now cooperating with authorities in other corruption investigations.

The MEF reported that the properties recovered for crimes against the public administration and auctioned off by the State become part of the monies that are destined for the payment of the Negotiable Payment Certificates of the Second Part of the Thirteenth Month (Cepadem), benefiting thousands of Panamanians, reports La Prensa.



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Judge  nullifies corruption case against clutch of ex-ministers

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Judge Leslie Loaiza, has nullified a $12 million corruption case  linked to the  National Assistance program (PAN) known as “Grains”, against  a group of cabinet ministers  in the previous administration as the investigation was not completed in six months.

Off the hook for crime against public administration are  ex-ministers  Lucy Molinar, Jaime Ford, Guillermo Ferrufino and Roberto Milton Cohen Henríquez, as well as Tomás Escalona. Last week the same judge nullified  another corruption case against Ferrufino. It is being appealed,

In a press release, the Judiciary said  that “the decision of Judge Leslie Loaiza was based on Article 2033 of the Judicial Code, which establishes that the summary must be completed within four months after the investigation begins, and may be extended. up for two more months when there are several defendants or punishable acts. ”

The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office initiated the investigation on August 27, 2014, and was due to end on February 27, 2015.

Judge Loaiza explains that “approximately two and a half months elapsed after the expiration of our procedural order, without the investigating agency requesting the extension of the summary to the Jurisdictional Court, that is, eight and a half months have elapsed since the beginning of the proceedings. investigation until the investigation order is issued. ”

The Public Ministry said that once the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office is notified, it will set an appeal in motion.



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Two ex-ministers facing embezzlement charges

Lucy Molinar
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Lucy Molinar the former Minister of Education, and the former Minister of Public Works, Federico Suárez have been called to trial for embezzlement in the purchase of dehydrated food through the now-dismantled National Assistance Program (PAN).

Criminal proceedings were also initiated against the former head of Nutrition Purchases of the Ministry of Education, Ángel Famiglietti, and businessman Rubén De Icaza, for ideological falsification.

The decision to call the four to trial follows an appeal to the Second Superior Court after, the Fifteenth Criminal Court, dismissed the case in 2015.



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Controversial judge shuts down $23 million corruption probes

De Obarrio, Williams Mario Martinelli. -
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A controversial judge renowned for his dismissal of corruption cases involving high profile figures from the previous administration on Friday, December 21 annulled three prosecutions of the alleged theft of millions from the National Aid Program (PAN).

Leslie Loaiza

Fifteenth criminal judge, Leslie Loaiza filed cases that according to the Comptroller General had possible patrimonial damage of over $23 million.

Included among the defendants let off the hook were Mario Martinelli brother of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli, and  Ricardo Martinelli’s former private secretary Adolfo Chichi De Obarrio, and the former head of purchases of the PAN Abraham Williams.

Williams was a fugitive for more than three years. In October 2018, he was apprehended in Costa Rica by Interpol. In November, Loaiza gave him a $50,000 bail.  Rafael Guardia Jaén, former director of the PAN, pointed to Williams as his “right hand” in the tenders awarded by the entity.

De Obarrio, who never appeared before the court and who is the subject of an Interpol red alert, is named by the prosecution as the person who decided to whom the contracts were granted.

Loaiza who has threatened to sue those who criticize his decisions, some of which have been overturned on appeal. alleged violations of due process. There are 36 beneficiaries. of resolutions with which he annulled three processes followed for possible damage to the patrimony of the now-defunct PAN.

These are for alleged anomalies in the Housing and Housing program of the Ministry of Housing, in the purchase of grain and in the rental of helicopters.

In November, Loaiza had already excluded from the process former Health Ministers Franklin Vergara Jaén and Javier Díaz, and Agricultural Development Emilio Kieswetter and Óscar Osorio Casal.

He also benefited Franklin Oduber Burillo, former director of the National Land Administration Authority; to Serafín Sánchez González, former vice minister of Health, and Arturo Alejandro Alvarado De Icaza, former director of the Civil Protection System.



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