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Also see https://chiriqui.life/topic/7880-“blue-apple”-corruption-scandal for more postings involving the Martinelli family, especially the two Martinelli sons.

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Last-ditch attempt by Martinelli to avoid retrial

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Posted 16/06/2021

Four days before a new trial  of former president Ricardo Martinelli for alleged political espionage he will appear before a judge of guarantees The hearing will be held next Friday, June 18, 2021, at 10:30 in the morning, following a request from the lawyer Alma Cortés , who is part of the MARTINELLI legal team.

The hearing will be, in the auxiliary room of the Supreme Court of  The right allegedly affected is unknown. The private plaintiffs say they have no knowledge of this and that they will find out when the hearing begins on  Friday.

In the last month, several hearings have been held to affect rights, requested by Martinelli, who alleges that the charges were never formally imputed and that the case has already expired. Both arguments have been rejected by the guarantee judges.

The request for the hearing comes a few days before a new oral trial against Martinelli begins, on June 22, after an Appeals Court decided to annul the verdict of not guilty handed down by three judges, in favor of Martinelli, in August 2019.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/last-ditch-attempt-by-martinelli-to-avoid-retrial

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Judge rejects Martinelli “delaying tactic” rebukes defense

Posted 18/06/2021

Once again, a guarantee judge rejected a request from the defense of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli, this time the official denied it outright as inadmissible, described it as a   delaying tactic, and also called attention to the defenders.

The ruling came on Friday, June 18, during a hearing on the violation of rights requested by Alma Cortés, Martinelli's defender.

This would not be the first time that a statute of limitations has been alleged, this type of request has been made at least four times and all have been rejected.

Martinelli's lawyers will file an Amparo, but the start date of the trial remains for June 22.

The plaintiff lawyers also described this appeal by Martinelli's defense as a delaying strategy for the trial, considering that it should be sanctioned.

The plaintiff attorney Carlos Herrera Delegado indicated that the plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice would not have the capacity to review anything in this case, except that it is a protection of guarantees. "But from now on I tell you, there is nothing that makes it impossible to start the trial."

On May 28, Judge Elkis Martínez rejected for the second time the request for the prescription of the criminal action requested by Martinelli's defense in relation to the puncture case, explaining that the time had not yet reached its end, however, the decision was appealed by the defense. On June 4, the Superior Court of Appeals rejected that appeal. 

On November 20, the Court of Appeals annulled the "not guilty" ruling against former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014). From now on, the ex-president will have to face a second trial for the "punctures" case.

Martinelli was declared "not guilty" of the crimes of interception of telecommunications without judicial authorization (4 years in prison), monitoring and surveillance without judicial authorization (4 years), embezzlement for theft (10 years) and embezzlement of use (3 years).

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/judge-rejects-martinelli-delaying-tactic-rebukes-defense

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Doctor in court for new Martinelli trial

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Posted 21/06/2021

The start of the new trial of former President Ricardo Martinelli for the case known in Panama as the “punctures" (wiretaps) is scheduled for Tuesday, June 22. Martinelli has everything through his lawyers to prevent the trial from taking place and has presented two new constitutional guarantees before the First Court of Justice.

 In case he tries to use the health card as he has done frequently in the past, the prosecution has trumped the move in advance and will have a forensic doctor in court on standby reports Mi Diario.

The plaintiffs' lawyers have indicated that the action does not stop the trial scheduled for 9:00 am in the First Court of Justice.  Balbina Herrera, one of five plaintiffs, said on TVN Noticias that the case has not expired because there have been various processes that have suspended the terms. Martinelli will be tried for the alleged crimes of inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/doctor-in-court-for-new-martinelli-trial

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Martinelli plays health card, trial moved to Nov. 5

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Posted 22/06/2021

The trial of former president  Ricardo Martinelli, scheduled for June 22 was postponed to July 5, while forensic examinations are carried out to verify his state of health after spinal surgery on Sunday.

Also the trial court - made up of judges Ibeth Francois, Jennifer Saavedra, and Marisol Osorio - assigned a public defender to Martinelli, who will represent him in the event that neither he nor his lawyers appear on July 5.

The trial was due to begin on Tuesday, 22, but neither Martinelli nor his lawyers attended, and instead sent certificates of medical incapacity, which will also be verified by the staff of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf).

The night before it was learned that the ex-president is hospitalized, convalescing from a "major surgery" on the spine.

The former president is at the Pacifica Salud Hospital, in Punta Pacifica, where on Sunday he underwent a spinal operation by neurosurgeon Waltter Kravcio .

According to Martinelli's spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho, the former president will be "in recovery" for six months and then he will have to do therapy.

The circus

“Now begins a new ordeal for Mr. Martinelli. Now he is going to have a procession of diseases, health problems, body aches ... So this will depend on the Court ... Indeed, it has all the mechanisms to prevent this from being a circus again, as in the previous hearing. For that, legal and technological instruments are available, so that Mr. Martinelli, at rest, can see the hearing and be aware of everything that is happening, ”said Mitchell Doens, plaintiff victim.

It is not the first time that Martinelli has appealed to his medical condition reports La Prensa . In the intermediate phase, he alleged several ailments: hypertension, hernias, myopia, glaucoma, anxiety ... On one occasion, the then magistrate Jerónimo Mejía , acting as judge of guarantees, visited him at the Santo Tomás Hospital, with a group of forensics, to verify that, in effect, he was prevented from appearing. It was then determined that his condition was stable and that he could appear. Mejía, had declared him "in absentia" in December 2015 because he was absent from the process, which is why his capture and extradition from the United States was arranged, which finally happened on June 12, 2018.

Balbina Herrera, also a complainant victim, indicated that the important thing is that the trial formally begins, although it must later be suspended so that the forensics examine the accused in the hospital.

"Let public opinion know L that the same hospital where he is now is where Mr. Cucalón was," Herrera warned, referring to the former General Director of Revenue, Luis Cucalón, who was admitted to the Punta Pacifica hospital on September 7 2015 to September 4, 2017, in order to evade the process in which he was convicted of embezzlement and corruption of officials.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-plays-health-card-trial-moved-to-nov-5

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“Buck stops here” for Martinelli as appeals denied

Posted 22/06/2021

Former president Ricardo Martinelli suffered  two new judicial setbacks clearing the way was cleared for the new oral trial in the illegal wiretapping case.

The Court of Appeals of the First Judicial District denied him a writ of habeas corpus and the appeal that presented his defense against that decision.

With habeas corpus, Martinelli - through lawyer Jamis Acosta - attacked the decision of the guarantee judge María José Urbina not to declare the criminal action prescribed.

Acosta alleged that the trial against his client is "violative", that the "complaint has the continuing interest" of seeing the former president imprisoned, that he has the "Public Ministry against him", and that the judge, not knowing the merits of the prescription request, left him defenseless.

However, justices Giovanina Antinori, Greta Marchosky de Turner and Carlos Rivas Alarcón concluded - in a ruling of June 20 - that in this case the figure of habeas corpus does not apply, since it, in accordance with the Constitution and the law, has restorative, preventive or corrective purposes, that is to say "to demonstrate that there is a certain threat against the fundamental right of liberty ...".

However, Martinelli is not in custody nor has an arrest warrant been issued against him.

Meanwhile, the Superior Court concluded - in a ruling of June 21 - that the appeal is not admissible, “since, in accordance with the provisions of Article 2608 of the Judicial Code, there is only room for appeal in suspensive effect , in the case in which an arrest is declared admissible [...] which has not happened ”in this case.

Judge Urbina denied the statute of limitations request on June 18, as she considered that it had been widely debated by other courts and considered that the appeal was a delaying tactic that, as a judge, she should avoid.

David Cuevas, a lawyer for Rosendo Rivera - one of the plaintiffs in the process - stressed that in recent months the defense of the former governor has used "all kinds" of inappropriate resources to stop the hearing, but this has not been possible.

"The worst that can happen tomorrow (today) is that he - the former president Ricardo Martinelli - or one of his lawyers presents a medical disability and automatically, by law, the Court must set a new date within the next 10 days", He said.

In this scenario, the complainants and the Public Ministry reported that they coordinated with the authorities of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf) in the event that a review of the ex-president's state of health is necessary for him to appear at the hearing.

The Oral Trial Court will be made up of judges Iveth Francois, Jennifer Saavedra and Marysol Osorio.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/buck-stops-here-for-martinelli-as-appeals-denied

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Zero Hour for Martinelli Fantasies

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Posted 22/06/2021

Zero hour has come for the second puncture [wiretap]trial. It is supposed to start today, but with the star defendant, anything can happen, since if his lawyers do something right, it is to try to delay the holding of the hearing with legal resources.

 Curiously, those whom the accused pointed out as those responsible for being prosecuted, are no longer on stage, so he has sought new protagonists to replace them in his absurd fantasies, which he later disseminates on his social media and media accounts.  The truth is that, having the means to clarify his entire situation, what he wants is to prevent the trial from being carried out at any cost.

He has a whole team of lawyers doing their best to block a trial in which he could clear his name, especially, because he wants Panamanians to give him a vote of confidence again to lead the country from the Presidency of the Republic.

But, under the current circumstances, it is not enough for him to claim his innocence. The trial should clear all doubts about his alleged participation in the spying of the private communications of dozens of Panamanians and foreigners. Otherwise, the doubts will simply persist. LA PRENSA, Jun. 22

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/zero-hour-for-martinelli-fantasies

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OPINION: Dodging The Bullet

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Another photo-op for Martinelli

Posted 23/06/2021

YESTERDAY in the trial of the punctures, there were no surprises, but, yes, a lot of cheek. Neither former President Ricardo Martinelli nor his lawyer Alma Cortés appeared at the hearing and, instead, sent excuses: the first, convalescence in a hospital after spinal surgery, and the second, an urgent appointment at the dentist for a cavity. And there were no surprises because we have been watching for weeks how the former president left the dance and the party to show on social networks alleged illnesses that would lead him to a hospital bed instead of to the dock. It was a stage prepared so that, precisely, there would be no surprises when the curtain opened. The court has done well to appoint a public defender for him if he does not appear within two weeks. But the former president's spokesman replied that Martinelli will be in recovery for six months and after that he will go to therapy. The excuses of all of them reveal with absolute clarity the deep contempt they feel and openly manifest for justice and the victims of the punctures. Here is one of the favorite dodges of the former president: is it that these evasions do not violate the due process of the victims? LA PRENSA, Jun.23

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-dodging-the-bullet

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Appeals Court asked to sanction Martinelli defense lawyer

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Posted 23/06/2021

Attorney Carlos Herrera Moran, legal representative of Mauro Zúñiga (victim of illegal wiretapping) will ask the Superior Court of Appeals to sanction Martinelli defense lawyer Alma Cortés since two guarantees judges and the appeals court itself have ruled on the request for the prescription of the criminal action and in both cases, the defense argument has been dismissed.

This follows the filing in the Superior Court by, Cortés of an appeal against the decision of the guarantee judge María José Urbina to deny the prescription of the criminal action in the illegal wiretapping case.

Sources from the Public Ministry confirmed that the Judicial Office of the First Judicial District established that the hearing to settle this claim will be next Monday, June 28, at 8:30 a.m.

At said hearing, the defense Alma Cortés,  who was admonished by the judge at the previous hearing must support the appeal.

The trial for this case will resume on July 5, while forensic examinations are carried out and the medical disability of Martinelli is reviewed, who allegedly underwent back surgery, on June 20.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/appeals-court-asked-to-sanction-martinelli-defense-lawyer

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Forensic doctors check on Martinelli

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Posted 25/06/2021

Two forensic doctors from The Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf) visited Hospital Punta Pacifica on Thursday, June 24, two evaluate the condition of former President Ricardo Martinelli, who is being held for reported spinal surgery.

They will also report if the surgery was elective or emergency.

On Tuesday, June 22, the trial of Martinelli, for illegal interception of communications, was postponed until July 5.

Martinelli would have undergone spinal surgery on Sunday, Jun 20, and also reported another surgery for a hernia on June 1.

The trial court - assigned a public defender to Martinelli, who will represent him in the event that neither he nor his lawyers appear on the new trial date.

According to Martinelli's spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho, the former president will be "in recovery" for six months and then he will have to do therapy.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/forensic-doctors-check-on-martinelli

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Public defenders named for Martinelli trial

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Posted 25/06/2021

Lawyers Rubén Gómez and Migdalis Gómez  (not related) have been appointed by the Public Defense Institute as public defenders in the trial of former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), for alleged political espionage, in the last two years of his mandate.

The Gómez lawyers were assigned on Friday, in a distribution made among the group of public defenders. In this case, their workload and availability to participate in the Martinelli trial, which will resume on July 5, were taken into account.

The lottery is carried out in the Judicial Office, in alphabetical order, the same as that carried out to distribute files among the magistrates of the plenary session of the Supreme Court.

"Public defenders will receive the 27 volumes in the folder and other documentation, in order to guarantee an active defense if they were to intervene at the hearing," said a press release from the Judicial Branch, released on June 25.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/public-defenders-named-for-martinelli-trial

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OPINION: Martinelli trial should be televised

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Martinelli in between hospital and courtroom visits

Posted 27/06/2021

The significance of the forthcoming trial for the "punctures" [wiretaps]case is such that the court in the case should consider broadcasting it live so that all Panamanian society can witness the process. This was the case when the Supreme Court of Justice handled the case, but when it went down to the ordinary courts, Panamanians could not see what was happening in the courtroom.

 We all know what happened in the end, but it is important - precisely, to avoid the suspicion that the previous trial generated - to know what happens in the entire course of the trial. On the other hand, in order to avoid the defendant's evasiveness, the court should also evaluate new precautionary measures against him. No one in Panama is alien, thanks to their own publications on social networks, to the life of parties and parties that the accused has so that, at the time of the trial, pull up excuses that prevent the process from continuing, always issued by friendly doctors, who likewise show little respect for justice.

And it is that all this seeks to prolong the case until they reach what they desperately seek: the prescription of the criminal action. Therefore, it is necessary that every time you try to evade justice, the terms of the criminal action are also suspended. – LA PRENSA, Jun 27.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-martinelli-trial-should-be-televised

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Court denies Martinelli’s fourth attempt to avoid trial

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Posted 28/06/2021

The Superior Court of Appeals of the First Judicial District unanimously confirmed, on Monday, June 28,  the decision taken by the guarantee judge María José Urbina, who denied former president Ricardo Martinelli the prescription of the criminal action in the puncture [wiretapping ] case.

Earlier the three magistrates: Geovanina Antinori, Omaira Jaramillo and Manuel Sánchez. had accepted the factual appeal presented by the defense of Martinelli against the decision of Judge Urbina who, on June 18, denied declaring the prescription of the criminal action.

The hearing took place virtually; Martinelli did not participate, as he was incapacitated.

It was the fourth hearing requested - in less than a month - by the defense of the former president to air legal appeals related to the process that is being followed for alleged political espionage.

On May 18, another guarantee Elkis Martínez denied the first appeal for criminal statute of limitations presented by the lawyer Alma Cortés. That decision was appealed to the Superior Court of Appeals, which on June 4 confirmed Judge Martínez's ruling.

In this case, Martinelli had to appear for trial on June 22, but that court appointment was not attended by the ex-president or by his lawyer, after the presentation of two medical certificates.

As a result, the trial court ordered the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences to conduct a health examination of the former president and appoint two public defenders.

The results of the evaluations will be known on Wednesday, June 30 at a hearing on the subject, while the trial will resume on July 5.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/court-denies-martinellis-fourth-attempt-to-avoid-trial

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Beware! Martinelli, The King of Lawsuits

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Posted 28/06/2021

In November 2019, after being declared “not guilty” in the case of the punctures, Ricardo Martinelli sued the then magistrates Jerónimo Mejía and Harry Díaz, the former, a judge of guarantees, and the latter, a prosecutor in the same case, when still the Supreme Court had the jurisdiction to investigate it. Martinelli accused them of abuse of authority and infringement of their public duties. He asked for compensation of $10 million each.

Until July 2020, Martinelli had sued, recused and complained against the special anti-corruption prosecutor Tania Sterling, for the Odebrecht case, in which he is accused. Martinelli demands $10 million for alleged "moral, psychological, commercial, business, social, family and political damage." Up to two doctors from the Institute of Legal Medicine have been sued by him. He also sued the former attorney Kenia Porcell several times, and his lawyers have filed complaints and lawsuits against former President Juan Carlos Varela, including an alleged murder attempt against Martinelli.

His lawyers have sued and denounced former Vice President Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, who is required to pay $20 million for alleged crimes against honor, abuse of authority, omission of public functions and violation of the right of defense. Varela and De Saint Malo have also been denounced by these lawyers for drug-related crimes.

Also on the list is Rolando López, former director of the National Security Council in the Varela government, as well as Fernando Berguido, former Panamanian ambassador to Italy. To all these complaints are added dozens of complaints against journalists, columnists, the media, cartoonists, bloggers and tweeters. They are tens of millions of dollars more than he demands in compensation.

These cases are far from all. A single person has crammed the system with legal actions that have consequences such as terrorizing, threatening, and self-censorship. But whatever your goals, I'm very curious why you haven't sued Vice President Gaby Carrizo.

Since Martinelli was summoned to the second trial for the punctures, Carrizo has been singled out by him as the manager behind the scenes of this second episode. "I blame you Gaby Carrizo and [the magistrate] María Eugenia López, you two are responsible," published Panama America , his main propaganda outlet, quoting the chief. What does Martinelli know about Carrizo? Why are you accusing him of being the one behind your next trial?

Martinelli has the human, legal, financial, and perhaps even factual resources to bring him before a judge and indict him, instead of calling him names and gossiping. I recognize that it would be a trial with little chance of winning, but, at least, the whole country would find out about the plot, which according to him, is against him. So I wonder why the king of lawsuits doesn't touch Carrizo a hair. What are you afraid of?   Rolando Rodriguez. La Prensa

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/beware-martinelli-the-king-of-lawsuits

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Judges unanimously reject Martinelli’s latest ploy

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Posted 29/06/2021

Desperate to avoid a retrial  for  alleged political espionage former president Ricardo Martinelli made a last gasp attempt on Tuesday  June 29  to stave off  the hearing set for July 5.

The three judges that make up the court unanimously rejected a request presented by the former president that would have removed them from the case.

The judges Iveth Francois Vega, Jennifer Saavedra Naranjo, and Marisol Osorio Leyton rejected “as inadmissible” a “nullity warning” presented by Alma Cortés, Martinelli's defender, since -according to the judges- the lawyer's claim does not explain how the appointment of the court of oral trial constitutes a vice or represents some damage to him.

The notice of nullity had originally been presented before the Superior Court of Appeals, which refused to hear the request and sent the file to the Oral Trial Court, for its attention.

The three judges are part of the Trial Court of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama, since it took office on September 2, 2016, with the entry into force of the adversarial criminal system in the province of Panama. Therefore, the court that they make up to try Martinelli is not "special or exceptional, therefore, it does not violate the principle of a natural judge."

Iveth Francois Vega, Jennifer Saavedra Naranjo, and Marisol Osorio Leyton were assigned to form the court in the oral trial of Martinelli, on June 11.

On several occasions  Martinelli has tried to suspend the trial, claiming that the case be prescribed or that the charges were never formally imputed. These arguments have been consistently rejected by the judges and magistrates. The last time occurred on June 28, when the Superior Court of Appeals once again rejected an appeal based on the alleged lack of imputation of the former president.

The case, according to the courts, will prescribe in early 2022.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/judges-unanimously-reject-martinellis-latest-ploy

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Request to declare Martinelli “in absentia” denied

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Aurelio Vásquez

Posted 30/06/2021

The prosecution and plaintiffs called on the judges in the wiretapping trial of former president Ricardo Martinelli to declare him in absentia after they received a report prepared by the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf),  detailing that his spinal operation on  Sunday, June 20 - two days before his scheduled court appearance - was elective.

The report was read on Wednesday, June 30, by Judge Ibeth Francois Vega, in a "communication hearing" convened by the court.

When the prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez and the plaintiffs learned that the operation was elective and not urgent, they asked the court to declare Martinelli “in absentia” and to suspend the statute of limitations for the criminal action

Luis Eduardo Camacho González, Martinelli's lawyer, asked the judges to reject these claims and asked to postpone his client's trial until after July 20 which was granted.

The court declared a recess to evaluate both applications.

Camacho González once again has the power to act in the case, since in recent weeks, the only attorney for Martinelli to act in the process was Alma Cortés.

Carlos Carrillo, Alfredo Bernal, Roniel Ortiz, and Sidney Sittón also returned to the team with Camacho. Cortés remains on the team. Everyone was present except Sittón.

Shortly before the start of the hearing, Carlos Herrera Morán, the lawyer for the complainant victims, indicated that if the operation was elective, “this clearly demonstrates that he [Martinelli], deliberately, was hospitalized to avoid the rigors of justice.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/request-to-declare-martinelli-in-absentia-denied-1

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Martinelli brothers’ escape plot foiled

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Posted 02/07/2021

In coordination with United States intelligence agencies, the Guatemalan Ministry of the Interior has frustrated the escape plans of the brothers Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares who have been held in a Guatemalan military prison since July 6, last year.

The CNN en Español journalist in Guatemala, Michelle Mendoza, was among the first to report on Thursday that the  Guatemala Minister of the Interior, Gendri Reyes, revealed that a search had been carried out at the Mariscal Zavala military prison "to stop a plan to escape” of the dons  of former President Ricardo Martinelli

The news was immediately confirmed by official Guatemalan sources, who were quoted by various local and international media, which gave more details of the story.

However, Marta Linares de Martinelli, mother of the detainees - who frequently visits them in Guatemala - denied the fact and issued a warning on Twitter: “This is totally false… There was a general search throughout the prison, which is usual there. No escape attempt, don't make up news” reports La Prensa.

The CNN  report said,  that the operation at the military base was carried out “based on an intelligence process with international agencies with the United States because there was information that the Martinelli brothers were planning their escape from the prison. ”.

Guatemalan journalistic sources informed La Prensa that, in effect, an alert reached the prison system, which led to the strengthening of surveillance and security measures at the military base where the Martinelli Linares brothers are held awaiting resolution of an extradition request from US prosecutors to face money laundering charges.

The alert of a possible escape was received by the Ministry of the Interior through US intelligence agencies was received on Wednesday and the security of the base was reinforced since that afternoon, with members of the State security, including the Ministry of Defense. confirmed spokesperson Pablo Castillo.

He added that it was “an imminent alert of the escape of the Martinelli Linares brothers. This led to a search at 6 am Thursday through units of the National Civil Police to confirm this information.

As a result of this search in the prison, they found, for example, checks with amounts in quetzals equivalent to more than $5,000 dollars, liquor, cell phones and accessories, Wi-Fi signal repeater, drugs, antennas, weapons, etc.

The escape plan was also denied by Denis Cuesy, a lawyer for the Martinelli Linares, to the journalist Ronny Ríos, from El Periódico de Guatemala.

The alleged escape plan would have been dismantled when little more than a month has passed since a Guatemalan court authorized the extradition to the United States of Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, a decision that is currently on appeal.

According to Castillo, when the search is completed, it will be decided whether the Martinelli Linares remain at the military base or are transferred to another prison.

Meanwhile, a complaint was filed against the director of the prison.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-brothers-escape-plot-foiled

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Martinelli Bros mark year in jail

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Posted 06/07/2021

On Tuesday, July 6 the two sons of former president Ricardo Martinelli marked one year behind bars in Guatemala.

Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares are detained in the  Mariscal Zavala military prison, following a  request for their capture and extradition to the United States to face money laundering charges.

On July 6, 2020, the brothers were surprised at La Aurora airport, as they were about to board a plane owned by the Martinelli family, on a supposed “humanitarian” flight. They carried four cell phones, cash, and diplomatic folders that accredited them as members of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), although later the body itself recognized) they had never been sworn in and had never held office. They told the police that they were parliamentarians and that they had Italian-Panamanian nationality.

Guatemala said that both had entered the country by land, with ordinary passports, on June 30 of that year, and immediately "surveillance and monitoring " was activated. The formal arrest request had arrived from the US three days earlier. The arrest request came from the s country in which both had lived for the last five years, since they voluntarily left Panama, as several judicial investigations against them progressed, for the bribes of Odebrecht and Blue Apple.

Luis Enrique had left Panama on October 16, 2015. The date on which Ricardo Alberto left (who was also mentioned in the Buko Millonario case) is unknown.

It is not known what they were doing in the United States, but on November 20, 2018, they were detained at their mansion in Coral Gables, Miami, by immigration agents who then reported that, although they had entered the United States legally, they no longer had a valid visa. They spent 15 days in Krome, a migrant shelter located in the Everglades, from which they left after a judge from that jurisdiction granted them each with a bail of $1 million.

Near the mansion in Coral Gables, former President Martinelli l had been captured on June 12, 2017, by federal marshals, at the request of Panama’s wiretap Supreme Court), which then had the jurisdiction to prosecute him in the wiretap case. Martinelli was detained for 364 days before being handed over to Panama.

Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique have had a much more rugged stay in Guatemala than their father in the US reports La Prensa: last Thursday, the Guatemala Ministry of the Interior reported that it had reinforced security in Mariscal Zavala and carried out a search, after receiving an alert "about the possible escape attempt" of the Martinelli Linares, by United States intelligence units. At the military base, they found cell phones, chargers, antennas, sharp-pointed weapons, beers, bottles of liquor... Also, 9 minors, who had no reason to be there. For these events, the director of the prison was denounced.

The brothers' stay at Mariscal Zavala has been colorful. The digital site Relato published a note last February, under the suggestive title "Of sex, liquor and privileges, this is the life of the Martinelli in the Guatemalan prison," which leaves little room for interpretation. In the prison, both would be under the protection of Gustavo Alejos, private secretary in the presidency of Álvaro Colom. (Last week, Alejos and Colom were included in the US State Department List of characters linked to acts of corruption.

 “Because they are foreigners, they do not have political enemies or those of the country's criminal structures, so their stay in a prison here does not mean that much risk and they could feel safe. The second important aspect is the vulnerability of the national prison system, where it is common to find underpaid guards who accept a bribe in exchange for letting in certain food, cell phones or anything that makes their stay in prison less pressing, "said Rony Ríos of the Guatemalan newspaper El Periódico.

The year they have spent in prison has been for the appeals filed to prevent extradition. The case of Ricardo Alberto is settled in the Third Court of Criminal Sentencing, Drug Trafficking and Environmental Crimes, and that of Luis Enrique in the Fifth Court.

Denis Cuesy is the lawyer and the strategy for each one has been similar: to challenge the judges on the grounds that they have no competence to settle their legal matters, given their alleged status as alternate deputies of Parlacen.

The Court of Appeals rejected the challenges, on more than one occasion. In June, Luis Enrique presented three more appeals against decisions adopted by the Fifth Court, which on May 25 ordered to process the delivery to the United States. Shortly before, he had been denied a request to transfer to a hospital, where he intended to stay, alleging heart problems. The National Institute of Forensic Sciences of Guatemala indicated that his state of health was stable and did not merit being admitted to a clinic.

Unlike his brother, Luis Enrique already went to a hearing to formally know the reasons why he is being claimed in the United States. The appointment was on March 5, although a month earlier, the Eastern District Court of New York released the accusation, which until then had been sealed. the former president's children are accused of three charges: one, for allegedly conspiring to launder money, and two, for hiding information on money laundering. The indictment is based on events allegedly committed between August 2009 and September 2015, which coincides with his father's entire presidential term.

Luis Enrique faces two additional charges, for the alleged use of money obtained through money laundering.

Just for the crime of conspiracy to launder, the penalty would be up to 20 years in prison. For the crime of hiding information, the maximum penalty is also 20 years in prison. The indictment warns that the assets linked to the charges (bank accounts, real estate) will be confiscated if the two defendants are convicted. Nothing is mentioned regarding the family plane but it has already been guarded on a runway in La Aurora, at the request of the United States Department of Commerce, for alleged export violations.

Although the FBI maintains that the two sons of the former president participated as "intermediaries" in the receipt and payment of bribes of  $28 million, "under the direction of Odebrecht," these allegations are not in the indictment disclosed now.

It is difficult to know when the extradition will be, although the surrender appears imminent, given that Guatemala usually accepts requests from the United State says La Prensa.

"I don't know of any case where the delivery was denied," said Ríos, of El Periódico.

It has even done so when those required have been important figures, such as former Guatemalan president Alonso Portillo, extradited in 2013.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-bros-mark-year-in-jail

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24 Deputies want Martinelli sons detained returned to Panama

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The Martinelli brothers in a Guatemala prison awaiting extradition to the USA to face money laundering charges

Posted 07/07/2021

24 Deputies from different legislative benches presented a note to the president of the National Assembly, asking the government of Laurentino Cortizo to initiate the steps to bring the Martinelli Linares brothers, detained in Guatemala,  awaiting extradition to the  US back to Panama. Mayín Correa, Democratic Change (CD)  said that five deputies from the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party had signed their names; two from Molirena, 15 of CD, and the independent deputy Adán Bejerano. Among the signatory PRD members is Zulay Rodríguez.

"In the letter we ask that an investigative commission be formed, to find out the legal situation of the brothers, and bring them to Panama to be tried here," Correa explained to La Prensa.

In the note, the deputies refer to the fact that the Martinelli Linares brothers are deputies of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen). "They have the same prerogatives and immunity as us," said Correa, However, the regional body itself has recognized that, although they were elected in the May 2019 elections, they have never been sworn in and have never held office.

The signing of this letter came shortly after a group of CD deputies, met with the former president and founder of the group, Ricardo Martinelli.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/24-deputies-want-martinelli-sons-detained-returned-to-panama-1

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“Incapacitated” ex-president Martinelli holds court

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Posted 08/07/2021

Flanked by a group of admiring cheerleaders from the  National Assembly former president Ricardo Martinelli who on June 30 presented a medical disability certificate to avoid trial for illegal wiretapping, forgot his health problems on July 7 to pose for pictures and plot strategy with deputies from his old party, Democratic Change (CD).

There were two items on the agenda: the fate of his sons Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares,  imprisoned for a year in Guatemala, awaiting extradition to the United States and a political alliance between CD and Realzando Metas (RM), the new party created by Martinelli.

The first was resolved  by pledging support for the Foreign Ministry to “take an interest in the fate” of the brothers facing trial for money laundering

The meeting was held at the Martinelli family clubhouse in Altos del Golf. He arrived in a Lexus van, from which he greeted and smiled at the journalists covering  the activity

In the meeting with his former supporters, he was seen to speak effusively. There was laughter and a lot of camaraderie, reports La Prensa. It contrasted the diagnosis that his followers proclaimed after the neurosurgeon Waltter Kravcio performed a "major surgery" on his spine on June 20, the day before the new wiretapping trial which he did not attend.

At that time, his spokesman Luis Eduardo Camacho said that Martinelli would have a six-month recovery period and should subsequently receive therapy. But on Wednesday the ex-president sitting in an armchair and flanked by the deputies Yanibel Ábrego and Mayín Correa, as a father, urged the Government to take steps so that his children, “deputies of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) ”, face justice in Panama.

At the meeting, it was report3ed that on July 5 Correa sent a note to the president of the National Assembly, in which the asked to create an investigative commission to inquire about the legal situation of the brothers.

At the meeting, Martinelli also spoke about his health. "It is a painful, tedious process," he said, and added that "that situation is not desired even on his worst enemy."

Martinelli said he loved them "like his children." "In this room are the people who will govern in 2024," said Martinelli, and predicted that the next president of CD will be Yanibel Ábrego. Currently, the president of CD is Rómulo Roux.

Martinelli  will have to face trial for the political espionage case on July 21, for which public defenders have been assigned.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/incapacitated-ex-president-martinelli-holds-court

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Judge hands over custody of Martinelli Brothers' helicopter

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The helicopter was apprehended in March 2017 in .Mexico

Posted 09/07/2021

The third judge liquidator of criminal cases, Baloisa Marquínez, made Friday, July 9, the delivery to the company AirCraft Trust & Financing Corporation, custody, of the helicopter, which was seized from the brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares within the process that is being followed for alleged money laundering through the Brazilian company Odebrecht.

Marquínez complied with a ruling of the Second Superior Court of Justice of March 31, 2020, which ordered to hand over custody of the aircraft, considering that its maintenance was too onerous for the State.

The Second Court decided to accept an incident involving an interested third party, which allows the company AirCraft Trust & Financing Corporation to manage the aircraft, but with the prohibition of its sale or of any form of transfer until the conclusion of the criminal proceeding that follows several citizens, accused of the alleged commission of the crime Against the Public Administration and Against the Economic Order, in the “Odebrecht” case.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/judge-hands-over-custody-of-martinelli-brothers-helicopter-1

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OPINION: Objectionable actions

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}ncapacitated" ex-pr rdidentarrives to ,cement new alliance

Posted 10/07/2021

The recent performances of Cambio Democrático (CD) are objectionable from every point of view. Its bench claims to be an opposition party, but it made a pact with the ruling party to elect the president of the state's most political body: the National Assembly. What kind of opposition is that? The majority of his deputies voted in his favor on the condition of making penal reforms that favor a particular politician, who, at the time, was the person with whom they met this week. In addition, they decided to send a letter to demand that the Foreign Ministry intervene in favor of the children of the politician of yore, but we frequently hear him demand that politicians take their hands off justice, which is precisely what he wants now. let them make their new fools useful, despite the fact that it conflicts with the Constitution. By last, they lie by arguing that the detained children of the subject are alternate deputies of Parlacen, since that regional body has already recognized that they have not been sworn into office. Today they want to be recognized as Central American parliamentarians, but the father had no qualms about despising that same position when it no longer served him. Well-off and opportunistic. That's what they are - LA PRENSA, Jul. 10

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-objectionable-actions

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Martinelli’s latest move to stall trial

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Martinelli holds court with CD supporters

Posted 12/07/2021

Former President Ricardo Martinelli has appealed to the Supreme Court (CSJ) through constitutional guarantee protection that had initially been denied by the First Superior Court of Justice.

The Amparo, presented by the lawyer Carlos Carrillo, is against the decision of the guarantee judge Elkis Martínez not to agree to a request for prescription of the criminal action in the puncture case.

The former president must go to trial on July 21 for illegal wiretapping but alleges that he is in the process of recovering from surgery on his back.

David Cuevas, the complainant in this process on behalf of Rosendo Rivera, said that the appeal presented by Martinelli's lawyers does not suspend the trial.

Cuevas explained that Martinelli's lawyers will have to wait for the Court to resolve the appeal, but that it has no effect on the trial.

Carlos Herrera Moran, a lawyer for the doctor Mauro Zúñiga, agreed with Cuevas that the appeal does not stop the trial.

Morán considered that the judges of the trial Iveth Francois, Jennifer Saavedra, and Marisol Osorio should take note of the latest actions of Martinelli, after, despite being incapacitated, he held a political meeting with deputies of the Democratic Change (CD).

In this regard, he pointed out that in this activity it was clear that Martinelli does not have a physical impediment that prevents him from attending the trial on July 21.

He stressed that the authorities must prevent Martinelli from using delaying strategies so as not to face the trial so that a precautionary measure can be applied to ensure his appearance.

On June 22, the First Court rejected the protection of guarantees presented by the defense of Martinelli against a decision of the judge of guarantees Elkis Martínez, who rejected a request for the prescription of the legal action in the process that is being followed by the alleged commission of crimes against the inviolability of secrecy, the right to privacy and monitoring without judicial authorization.

Martinelli did not attend the trial set for that date, after presenting a medical certificate because he underwent surgery. Official doctors later determined that this surgery was elective.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinellis-latest-move-to-stall-trial

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Former president Martinelli replays the health card

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Posted 15/07/2021

As widely anticipated the defense of former President Ricardo Martinelli presented before the judges of the Oral Trial Court a new certificate of medical incapacity, given by the neurosurgeon Waltter Kravcio.

The new medical disability runs from July 21 the day he is scheduled to face trial for illegal wiretapping and runs to August 20, 202

The information was released on Twitter by Luis Ernesto Camacho, spokesman for the former president.

It comes just days after Martinelli hosted a gathering of his supporters at his family clubhouse and set in motion plans to unite his new party (RM) and moves to  get his sons detained in Guatemela  for over a year returned to Panama to face “justice.” Currently, they are awaiting extradition to the United States on money laundering charges and in Panama for multiple alleged crimes.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/former-president-martinelli-replays-the-health-card

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Court rejects Martinelli’s latest sick ploy – trial will be July 21

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Posted 15/07/2021

The Trial Court of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama has rejected as "inadmissible" the new incapacity presented by the defense of former President Ricardo Martinelli on July 12.

The three judges who make up the court also warned that the trial will take place on July 21, at 9:00 am "The Court will take all legal provisions so that this decision becomes effective that day."

The court is made up of judges Iveth Vega, Jennifer Saavedra, and Marysol Osorio.

The judges in their ruling recalled that at the June 30 hearing, after listening to all the parties and specifying, in detail, the reasons that prevented the trial from starting for the scheduled (June 22 and subsequently July 5) ”, the Court acceded to the requests of Martinelli's defense to set the date after the conclusion of the second incapacity presented, that is, after July 20.

Earlier it was reported that the defense of the former president, who must face a trial for alleged political espionage, presented before the judges of the Oral Trial Court a new certificate of medical incapacity, granted by neurosurgeon Waltter Kravcio. The new medical disability runs from July 21 to August 20, 2021.

According to the former president's spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho, the disability is dated July 9. That is, two days after the meeting that the former president held with deputies from his old party, Cambio Democrático, at the Martinelli family clubhouse in Altos del Golf. That day, Martinelli arrived in a Lexus van, from which he greeted and smiled at the journalists who covered the activity reports  La Prensa.

The Trial Court of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama rejected as "inadmissible" the new incapacity presented by the defense of former President Ricardo Martinelli on July 12.

The three judges who make up the court also warned that the trial will take place on July 21, at 9:00 am "The Court will take all legal provisions so that this decision becomes effective that day."

The court is made up of judges Iveth Vega, Jennifer Saavedra, and Marysol Osorio.

The judges in their ruling recalled that at the June 30 hearing, after listening to all the parties and specifying, in detail, the reasons that prevented the trial from starting for the scheduled date 6 months in advance (June 22 and subsequently July 5) ”, the Court acceded to the requests of Martinelli's defense to set the date after the conclusion of the second incapacity presented, that is, after July 20.

Earlier it was reported that the defense of the former president, who must face a trial for alleged political espionage, presented before the judges of the Oral Trial Court a new certificate of medical incapacity, granted by neurosurgeon Waltter Kravcio . This new medical disability runs from July 21 to August 20, 2021.

According to the former president's spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho, the disability is dated July 9. That is, two days after the meeting that the former president held with deputies from his old party, Cambio Democratico, at the Martinelli family clubhouse in Altos del Golf. That day, Martinelli arrived in a Lexus van, from which he greeted and smiled at the journalists who covered the activity.

The new medical certificate was presented by attorney Jessica Canto, on behalf of Martinelli, on July 12, the former president's spokesman reported.

Camacho also reported that attorney Canto requested that a communication hearing be convened on this matter. To do this, he asks that Dr. Kravcio be summoned to provide explanations about Martinelli's health condition and the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences for an evaluation. The Trial Court in charge of the process that is being followed by former President Martinelli for alleged political espionage has already set three dates of hearings in this process: June 22, July 5, and July 21.

This, due to the certificates of medical incapacity that Martinelli's defense has presented, due to the fact that he underwent surgery on the spine. Official doctors determined that this surgery was elective. All documents are signed by neurosurgeon Kravcio.

For the trial in the case of political espionage on July 21, the former president has public defenders assigned.

“The authorities have to assume their role. We can't take it anymore, "he's making fun of us," said Balbina Herrera, one of the plaintiffs in this case, when she learned about the new disability certificate presented by Martinelli.

After having political meetings, Martinelli "makes a mockery of the entire administration of justice," lamented Herrera.

Medical disabilities have not been the only tools Martinelli has brought up to get out of the process.

On several occasions, the former president has tried to suspend the trial, claiming that the case is prescribed or that the charges were never formally imputed. These arguments have been consistently rejected by the judges and magistrates. The last time occurred on June 28, when the Superior Court of Appeals once again rejected an appeal based on the alleged lack of imputation of the former president.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/court-rejects-martinellis-latest-sick-ploy-trial-will-be-july-21

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Martinelli lawyers’ strategy backfires

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"Incapacitaded" Martinelli celebrates with allies

Posted 16/07/2021

Former magistrate Harry Díaz, who served as the prosecutor in the illegal-wiretapping trial of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli when it fell within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, reacted to Martinelli's attempt to suspend his trial with a third disability.

“It is evident that Martinelli is making fun of the administration of justice in the country. However, we must remember that it is the duty of the oral trial judges to correct all kinds of irregularities within the process, precisely to avoid delays, as is contemplated in article 63 of the Criminal Procedure Code, "said the former judge.

“Unfortunately, despite the fact that the prosecution and the plaintiffs requested that the defendant be declared in absentia, —with an elective operation that was deliberately carried out two days before the date of the trial—, the judges did not declare him in absentia. It is well known that the defendant does not want to appear at trial not because he cannot, but because it is not convenient for him to fail on the merits in such a forceful case, such as wiretapping, "added Díaz who as the prosecutor had called for a 20 year sentence for Martinelli.

According to the judges, the request was presented on July 12, just a few days after the former president met with a group of deputies from Cambio Democrático, his old party, at the Martinelli family clubhouse in Altos del Golf. Martinelli arrived at the meeting in a Lexus van, from which he greeted and smiled at the journalists who covered the activity. A journalist asked him if he would attend the trial on July 21, and he replied that it depended on the "strategy" of his lawyers.

The courts reaction to the strategy  was to declare it “inadmissible.”

The document, dated July 15, bears the signature of judges Iveth Francois Vega (president), Jennifer Saavedra Naranjo, and Marisol Osorio Leyton .

The three judges cited article 18 of the Criminal Procedure Code , which says: "those who intervene in the proceedings must do so with loyalty and good faith, without recklessness in the exercise of procedural rights and duties." This provision also warns that the judge will use his powers to reject any request or act that involves "a manifest delay of the parties."

They also mentioned article 15 of the same code, which states: “everyone has the right to a final judicial decision issued in a reasonable time. All actions must be provided without unjustified denunciations ”.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-lawyers-strategy-backfires

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