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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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Marathon reading of Martinelli wiretaps ends

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Posted 17/09/2021

The Public Ministry concluded on Friday, September 17, the 38-day marathon reading of the seven books that contain the transcripts of wiretapping by members of the National Security Council (CSN) between 2012 and 2014 which constitutes one of the most important tests in the trial of former President Ricardo Martinelli for alleged illegal interception of communications.

Carlos Herrera Delgado, lawyer for Mitchell Doens (victim of the punctures), said that the trial judges Iveth Francois, Jennifer Saavedra and Marisol Osorio, accepted the seven booklets as evidence of the Prosecutor's Office after they were introduced by reading during the judgment.

Delgado revealed that next Monday the oral trial of Martinelli for illegal wiretapping will enter the witness presentation phase and that access will be allowed to a limited group of journalists.

The jurist specified that the booklets presented to the court account for the interceptions of emails and conversations made to politicians, labor leaders, and businessmen by CSN officials in the Martinelli administration.

The ex-president's lawyers indicated that at the time of cross-examination of the prosecution's witnesses, the irregularities of the process followed by their client and will be demonstrated and that it was all a fabricated case.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/marathon-reading-of-martinelli-wiretaps-ends

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Martinelli Minister, now lawyer, was wiretap target

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Posted 19/09/2021

A former minister in the government of former president Ricardo  Martinelli  who is now part of his legal team  was one of the targets of the National Security Council (CSN) a reading of the seven booklets containing the interceptions made by agents of the CSN  revealed

 Carlos Herrera Delegado, Mitchel Doens' lawyer, confirmed that in an inspection procedure carried out by the prosecution to the telephone companies, a number corresponding to that of Alma Cortés was located on the list of targets assigned to the members of the CSN.

 Cortés today is part of the legal team that defends Martinelli and, according to the former president himself, would support him as a presidential candidate in 2024, if convicted reports La Prensa.

Prosecutor Ricardo González said that although reading the booklets was a bit tedious, it gave the court a broad detail of the scope of the interceptions of politicians, businessmen, labor leaders, and journalists, between 2012 and 2014.

González said that on Monday the presentation of witnesses begins, including experts from the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, technicians, and victims of the wiretaps.

The appearance of the protected witness is also expected at this stage, who in the first trial gave details of the place where the wiretaps were carried out at the CSN.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-minister-now-lawyer-was-wiretap-target

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Court rejects media blackout for Martinelli

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Posted 24/09/2021

The Oral Trial Court of the illegal wiretap case denied on Friday a request from the defendant ex-president Ricardo Martinelli who wanted the media to be prohibited from mentioning his name, that of his family and that of his companies.

Judges Iveth Francois Vega, Jennifer Saavedra Naranjo, and Marysol Osorio concluded that the only thing that should be respected against the accused is the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.

Martinelli made the request on the afternoon of Thursday, September 23, after the presentation of the protected witness before the Trial Court.

He is a former agent of the National Security Council (CSN) , where the unauthorized interceptions were carried out between the years 2012 to 2014.

The judges did grant the protection measures that the protected witness  had requested, for him and his family: prohibition to disclose his name, his voice and his testimony, as well as labor jurisdiction. However, on social media, Martinelli and his team have reportedly continued to refer to this person.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/court-rejects-media-blackout-for-martinelli

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Time running out for Martinelli sons

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Posted 24/09/2021

Guatemala’s Public Ministry has rejected Panama’s request for the extradition of Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, which Panama presented in August.

The Panama petition was rejected, without holding a hearing, because the United States got there first and Guatemalan law dictates that the first request received,, must be resolved, and  Guatemala doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Panama.

Panama's request came a year after the United States required Guatemala to capture and deliver the children of former President Ricardo Martinelli. The arrest took place on July 6, 2020 at La Aurora airport and since then they have remained in the Mariscal Zavala military prison, from where they have presented several legal appeals.

Panama’s Third Criminal Settlement Court , headed by Baloisa Marquínez wants the Martinelli Linares brothers in Panama to answer for bribes paid by state contractors to Panamanian officials ( Blue Apple case ). The court has yet to decide whether to call 51 people to trial, for alleged money laundering.

On August 9,  Judge Marquínez sent to the Panamanian Foreign Ministry a request for preventive detention for the extradition of the “citizens” Martinelli Linares.

Delivery imminent
Although Panama's request was formally received, the Secretary-General of the Guatemalan Attorney General, Ángel Pineda, announced since August 30 that delivery to the United States was imminent.

"We know that it is in the final phase to issue the corresponding resolution for extradition," he said.

Recently, the First Court of Appeals of the Criminal Branch of Guatemala ruled against appeals filed by the legal defense of Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, which would give the final green light to move forward with the delivery to the United States. Meanwhile, the case of his brother, Ricardo Alberto, would continue to be suspended pending the resolution of two appeals.

The United States requested the capture and extradition of the children of former President Martinelli for the alleged commission of various crimes related to money laundering, before the Eastern District Court of New York.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/time-running-out-for-martinelli-sons

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Protected witness in Martinelli trial fears for his life

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Posted 24/09/2021

A protected witness in the retrial of former president Ricardo Martinelli, accused of illegal wiretapping, told the court on Thursday, September  23 that he feared for his life.

Earlier the defense cross-examined the  Public Ministry expert, Luis Rivera Calle, who transcribed the audios and videos of compact discs with information on the interception of the victims' communications and the DVD with statements from the protected witness.

Ricaurte González, superior prosecutor, told the media stationed outside the facilities of the Accusatory Penal System, located in Plaza Ágora, that what was expressed by the expert Luis Rivera Calle was clear.

"He received three compact discs, made transcripts of audios and there is an element that is important, he says very clearly that they are audios of environment and telephone communications, which is what the theory of the Public Ministry has maintained, regarding which ones have been the crimes committed against the more than 150 victims of this process, "said  González.

The protected witness of the Public Ministry appeared, who was sworn in and requested protection for himself and his family,  indicating that he fears for his life. In addition, he asked that his name or voice not be disclosed and that he would only come to tell the truth about what happened in the Security Council.

The Trial Court of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama is made up of judges Iveth Francois Vega (president), Jennifer Christine Saavedra Naranjo (rapporteur) and Marysol Leyton Osorio (third Judge).

Judge Iveth Francois Vega, agreed to the request of the protected witness of the Public Ministry and decided that his image, his statements, such as his labor jurisdiction, may not be disclosed while the sentence is not final, as well as the restriction to the parties not to refer to the witness's statement before the media and anywhere else.

The hearing on Friday, September 24, will continue with the interrogation in a reserved manner, of the protected witness by the Public Ministry, who will come to disclose what he knows, about the National Security Council in 2012 -2014.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/protected-witness-in-martinelli-trial-fears-for-his-life

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OPINION: Wiretap trial needs TV coverage

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Posted 25/09/2021

 The judges of the court in the wiretapping case agreed to various security measures in order to protect the identity of a witness, since, of course, what he is revealing does not make the accused - Ricardo Martinelli -at all happy. So the court prohibited those present from divulging not only his name but also what he declared at the trial. But as soon as it was prohibited, the accused has gone out to do his thing on social networks, expressing with his attitude the deep contempt he feels for the court and its members. That is why, once the confidential files have been read with the information of the victims, it is necessary for society to be able to witness this trial and not just the attendees. As they did in 2018, live transmission of what is happening in court is required, so that everyone can hear what is going on inside. Hopefully, the court orders that, for transparency, the trial can be followed from anywhere in the country and not through the versions of the interested parties, as is the case of what the accused and his technical defense writes. – LA PRENSA, Sep. 25.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-wiretap-trial-needs-tv-coverage

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MARTINELLI TRIAL: Protected witness ends 7days of testimony

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Posted 01/10/2021

After seven days on the stand, the protected witness completed his statement in the trial of former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) for alleged illegal wiretapping.

At noon on      Thursday the trial court terminated the participation of this witness after the defense of the ex-president concluded with the cross-examination of the statements made to questions from the Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime.

The participation of the protected witness - a former agent of the National Security Council (CSN) - is one of the reasons why, on November 20, 2020, the Superior Court of Appeals annulled the “not guilty” ruling of August 9 of 2019, in favor of the former president, and ordered  a new trial. According to court, his testimony had not been adequately assessed.

Carlos Herrera Delegado, lawyer for Mitchell Doens, assured that with his new participation, the witness was forceful in relating the former president to the interceptions carried out between 2012 and 2014.

From his statements, according to Herrera Delegado, it was established that Ronny Rodríguez, a former CSN agent, was the person who received the instructions on who to prod or do some kind of follow-up reports La Prensa

For Herrera Delegado, the witness reinforced the theory of the case presented by the prosecution, so that now the judges Iveth Francois Vega, Jennifer Saavedra Naranjo and Marysol América Osorio have a clearer picture of how the events occurred in building 150 of Quarry Heights, where the CSN facilities operated.

The judges accepted protection measures for the witness, such as the prohibition of divulging his name, his image, his voice, and his testimony. But those close to the former president have shown videos in which they allude to this witness and try to discredit his story.

For Herrera Delegado, the witness statement made it clear that the CSN acquired three different teams to carry out the interceptions. He also explained the details of the training received to correctly handle the equipment.

In addition, most of the interceptions were directed at politicians, especially the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

The defense of the former president assured that during the cross-examination, the protected witness entered into contradictions and that his testimony is full of inconsistencies. Lawyer Alfredo Vallarino said that the prosecution has continued to use this witness, despite knowing that his statement contains serious inaccuracies reports La Prensa.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-trial-protected-witness-ends-7days-of-testimony

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Adjusting the truth in a public trial

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Posted 02/10/2021

The trial that is currently being held for the illegal wiretapping case is followed by the population, not because of the facts and statements that are given during the hearings, but through the versions of the parties, so there remains a doubt about what really happens in those four walls that isolate from public attention an issue that is precisely public, such as the use of state resources and personnel for political and petty purposes.

The trial tries to prove who ordered and profited from the illegal espionage. That is why the judges must allow this trial to be observed by anyone who wants it, through direct transmission, as was done in the hearings that were held in the Supreme Court (when that body had jurisdiction) or as it is occasionally done exclusively for journalists accommodated in a press room, set up next to the court. The trial evidence that required confidentiality has already been evacuated, so there is no reason for us to continue listening only to the opinions of the parties, but rather that we can all conclude what is really happening, without intermediaries to lie or narrate what that suits them.

The advanced trial should already be public so that we can all draw a conclusion about what is really happening, without intermediaries who lie or narrate what is convenient for them. This trial, advanced as it goes, should already be public. so that we can all draw a conclusion about what is really happening, without intermediaries who lie or narrate what is convenient for them. The trial,  as it moves forward should already be public – LA PRENSA, Oct. 2.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/adjusting-the-truth-in-a-public-trial

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First victims called in Martinelli wiretap trial

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Posted 06/10/2021

Stanley Motta and Aurelio Barría were the first victims to be called on Wednesday, October 6 in the trial of former President Ricardo Martinelli, for the alleged interception of communications and monitoring, persecution, and surveillance without judicial authorization.

The first to appear before was Barría, who acknowledged a personal email that he sent in 2013, in which he reflected on the electoral political landscape in the face of the May 2014 elections.

Barría stated that this email was addressed only to a friend, who was in Colombia. He denied that his electronic communications were hacked, that he had shared the password with anyone, or that his computer was accessible to anyone else.

The witness told the judges that he always suspected that Martinelli was spying on his communications and said that on one occasion, during a shareholders' meeting of Corporación La Prensa, Martinelli - who was then President – publicly acknowledged that he had the information and the “ pedigree ”of those who were present.

On another occasion, he was interviewed in the Knockout segment of the journalist Flor Mizrachi, from La Prensa, and shortly afterward Martinelli called him to tell him that he had already been identified as an opponent of his government and threatened to reveal matters of his private sphere.

Regarding the testimony given by Motta, the prosecutor Ricardo González said that the businessman recognized two of his emails, which he sent to executives of TVN Media , about the "escape" of a journalist to another television station, and another about the labeling of alcoholic beverages. which was imposed in the Martinelli government. Both emails were intercepted.

Carlos Herrera Delegado, attorney for the victim and plaintiff Mitchell Doens, considers that the most important thing is that those affected recognize the correspondence, audios, videos, and any other type of documentation stolen by agents of the National Security Council (CSN) , between the years 2012 to 2014.

He explained that beyond the details that the experts and technical personnel may provide, the victims are the only fully able to recognize the contents and thus be able to establish whether, in fact, they were intercepted by the CSN.

For these same events, Gustavo Pérez and Alejandro Garuz - both directors of the CSN in the Martinelli government - were sentenced to 60 months in prison. The conviction was appealed.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/first-victims-called-in-martinelli-wiretap-trial

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Guatemala orders seizure of Martinelli plane

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Posted 08/10/2021

Guatemala has ordered the seizure of the private plane belonging to the family of former president Ricardo Martinelli.

 The plane had been detained last February at the La Aurora airport at the request of the United States.

The information was released by Canal Antigua de Guatemala, which said that the seizure was ordered on September 2, by the Domain Extinction Court.

The journalist Sergio Osegueda, from Canal Antigua, wrote that with this action, the Public Ministry of Guatemala, through the Domain Extinction Prosecutor's Office, “could request that the aircraft pass into the hands of the State of Guatemala if it is determined that there are no anomalies in its acquisition ”.

It is the same plane with registration N799RM that was waiting for Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, when they were detained in La Aurora, on July 6, 2020, for an extradition request from the United States.

The  US Department of Commerce had requested the seizure of the plane an action that the National Civil Police carried out on February 26 of this year. That kidnapping was carried out by the Prosecutor's Office against Drug Trafficking.

The aircraft, with a capacity for 15 passengers was acquired in 2005, is registered to the Bank of Utah Trustee, of Salt Lake City.

Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares remain detained in the Mariscal Zavala military prison, waiting for their delivery to the United States to be determined.

The prosecution for the Eastern District of New York has filed three charges against Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique: one for allegedly conspiring to launder money, and two more, for hiding information about money laundering.

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

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/guatemala-orders-seizure-of-martinelli-plane

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Wiretap victims testify at Martinelli trial

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Posted 09/10/2021

Two more victims of wiretaps carried out by the National Security Council between 2012 and 2014, appeared in the trial of former president Ricardo Martinelli on  Friday, October 8.

They are the communicator and lawyer Guido Rodríguez and the former deputy José Luis Popi Varela, brother of former president Juan Carlos Varela .

Rodríguez stated that his emails were intercepted without judicial authorization when he was a news director at TVN.

He also reported that when he was managing El Panamá América, he sent an email to the EFE news agency regarding an event in Washington. He was surprised to learn that the then Panamanian ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Guillermo Cochez, was aware of this communication, who in turn told Rodríguez that the information had been provided by the newly appointed attorney Giuseppe Bonissi.

Varela said that he was the object of illegal wiretapping, monitoring, and surveillance. He narrated that a personal advisor to the ex-president described in great detail a series of photographs that Martinelli supposedly showed him and that were adjusted to intimate situations that only he and his family could know.

At one point during his statement in Court, Varela raised his right hand and pointed with his index finger at the "man dressed in jeans between Roniel Ortiz and Sidney Sittón." 

The defendant demanded a counteroffensive. Then Sittón took the floor and asked judges Iveth Francois, Jennifer Saavedra, and Marysol Osorio that the witness stop targeting his client.

The judges asked Varela to be more restrained, and that he could only point to the accused if requested by a representative of the Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime.

The prosecutor in charge, Ildeman Camaño, asked Varela to identify the person he was referring to.  Varela pointed directly at Martinelli, who spread his arms defiantly.

The cross-examination of Varela continues on Monday.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/wiretap-victims-testify-at-martinelli-trial

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Martinelli in brawl with prosecution witness

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Ricardo Martinelli (left), Luis "Popi " Varela (right )

Posted 11/10/2021

Former president Ricardo Martinelli starred in a brawl on Monday, October 11 in the corridors of the courtroom where he is on trial for the unauthorized interceptions that took place in the last two years of his mandate (2012-2014).  

The altercation was with former deputy José Luis “Popi” Varela, one of the four witnesses that the Public Ministry has presented so far, in the trial of the former president

"He threw and we hit each other," Varela acknowledged to journalists.

 When Martinelli saw that the witness was talking to the media, he wanted to interrupt the interview, but the security agents guarding the First Judicial District of Panama prevented him.

The events took place, when Varela concluded his testimony, after three consecutive days of sworn statement, before the three judges that make up the trial court.

The judges declared a recess shortly before noon, to dismiss the witness and retire to lunch. It was at that moment, when they left the room, that Martinelli began to shout insults and profanity at Varela, who did not remain silent and responded to the expletives.

The exchange of screams and slaps continued in the hallway and continued to the parking lots when the security agents guarding the compound intervened reports La Prensa.

Varela was alone; Martinelli was in the company of his lawyers Sidney Sittón, Carlos Carrillo, Sherly Castañadea, Alfredo Vallarino, Jessica Canto and Roniel Ortiz. Everyone watched without intervening, but Canto repeated some insults her client-directed at the witness, particularly some related to his sexuality.

According to Martinelli, in addition to the insults, he had the opportunity to hit Varela. "He earned his fist," he said while some security agents surrounded him.

When Varela told reporters "we hit each other ... He threw me and I kicked him", in the background, one of Martinelli's lawyers replied: "he hit you."

"I have pity and compassion for you," Varela snapped.

"You are a drug dealer!" exclaimed Martinelli.

According to lawyer Sittón, Popi Varela's statement was plagued by “contradictions” and the witness accepted “that he did not see any communications interception equipment, much less an order from Ricardo Martinelli to intercept any person”.

Varela replied that Sittón is lying and that the lawyer "only had to ask me if I saw Mr. Martinelli opening the box when the Israeli pricking machine arrived." He added that Sittón is convicted, of slandering and insulting him, but by another process.

The former deputy is the fourth witness called by the prosecution. Earlier, a protected witness (a former CSN agent) appeared, who requested personal protection measures, given that he fears for his safety. The judges prohibited their name, voice, face, and testimony from being reproduced. However, that has not prevented the accused and his defense from constantly referring to him, on their social networks.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-in-brawl-with-prosecution-witness

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Former deputy files complaint about Martinelli attack

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Posted 12/10/2021

Former deputy José Luis Popi Varela filed a complaint against Ricardo Martinelli after he attacked him on  Monday, October 11 as he was leaving the courtroom where the wiretapping trial of the former president is being heard.

Varela went to the Metropolitan Primary Care Prosecutor's Office to report the physical and verbal attacks made by Martinelli, shortly after he concluded his testimony before the trial court.

He announced that he is also preparing a complaint. There he narrated what the country saw on social networks: the brawl between two politicians at the facilities of the Accusatory Penal System (SPA) located in Plaza Ágora. Everything happened at the end of the cross-examination of  Varela by the defense of Martinelli in the middle of the wiretapping trial of the ex-president for the wiretaps. The brother of former President Juan Carlos Varela was heading out of the court after the court officer returned his identity card. He opened the door and at that moment the ex-ruler threw a punch at him reports La Prensa.

Varela advanced went out into the corridor that leads to the courtroom and kicked Martinelli, but members of the security of the Judicial Body (OJ) and officials of the Institutional Protection Service (SPI) separated them. Martinelli continued hurling insults and Popi Varela answered him.

The incident did not end there. Instead of using the back exit of the building to leave the SPA, the former deputy went out through the main door and there a second verbal confrontation took place. Martinelli pounced on him saying: "drug dealer ... I have proof of it."

Members of the SPI and the security of the OJ intervened once more to prevent them from coming to blows.

Pity and compassion 
Varela told Martinelli: "I have pity and compassion for you."  He alleged that Martinelli was very upset by the number of criminal proceedings he has in various jurisdictions. He said that he has his plane detained in Guatemala and that has stressed him out.

In a statement, Varela summarized his statement during the trial. He claims to have recognized 10 documentary pieces of evidence of "clear interventions and violations of his privacy and intimacy", and of his family.

He specified that these were private conversations held in the National Assembly and said that one of them was sent to the mail of the National Security Council the same day it was held. He mentioned three emails from his family [that were intercepted] dealing with personal matters.

The note also details that a person close to Martinelli warned him that his communications were being intercepted and gave him details of how it was carried out.

After the brawl, and once the trial was restarted in the afternoon, judges Ivette Francois, Jennifer Saavedra, and Marisol Osorio called for attention to the parties so that the session was carried out with respect and good behavior. Martinelli apologized to the judges and justified his action by claiming that he reacted in this way due to the constant attacks by the Varela family.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/former-deputy-files-complaint-about-martinelli-attack

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Journalist describes  "on knees" Martinelli use of power

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Posted 12/10/2021

With a sob-filled voice the journalist of the AM newscast of TVN Noticias, Castalia  Pascual broke her silence on Tuesday, October 12, during the Mesa de  periodistas program about the bitter personal experience that she lived in relation to the telephone interceptions during the administration of former president Ricardo Martinelli who is now facing a  second wiretap trial.

Visibly affected by the memories of the experience, where the political power of Ricardo Martinelli (2009 - 2014) made her " kneel " and move away from the journalistic scene, Castalia Pascual reported that she was "violated and alone", after Martinelli gave the order to transfer a relative in recovery from addiction problems, to the La Joya Penitentiary Center in the worst conditions

“ After 18 months of treatment, he took him from a farm and put him in the worst cell in La Joya and I had to shut up and kneel to his power (…) It is the first time that I dare to speak. Martinelli told me not to mess with his children and I do not mess with your family," said the social communicator.

Pascual said that, in the middle of a last interview with the former president, he asked for forgiveness. In addition, she told the audience of the Mesa de Periodistas that after the revelation of this personal chapter in her life that it is related to the case of the telephone jabs, she declared herself prevented from addressing the issue.

The former Panamanian president, who is being tried on a second occasion for this case and whose trial is in the witness presentation phase, starred in an incident with former deputy José Luis “Popi” Varela outside the Accusatory Penal System on the morning of Monday, October  11 described as embarrassing by different sectors of society.

“And I have to say something very frank in front of my news director (Axel Rivera). I personally declare myself prevented from addressing this issue, ”said Pascual.

Regarding the wiretap case, Pascual stated that “ nothing is going to happen here. But the Panamanian people have to understand the seriousness of the problem so that no one else will use the power again for this. "

Martinelli is also being investigated for other cases related to corruption crimes

After the revelation, Pascual received thousands of messages of solidarity praising her for having the courage to speak out.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/journalist-describes-on-knees-martinelli-use-of-power

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Witnesses in wiretap trial offered protection

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Posted 12/10/2021

The controversial episode between the former president and one of the witnesses, former deputy José Luis “Popi” Varela,  in the vicinity of the Accusatory Penal System (SPA) in Plaza Ágora, Panama City has led the  judges to call for sanity, both inside the courtroom and outside the SPA

In addition, they have announced that the witnesses from now on, can be escorted by the security of the SPA and that they can leave through alternate doors.

It will be the witness, who has the freedom to take protection or not.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/witnesses-in-wiretap-trial-offered-protection

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Martinelli files $300,000 complaint against attack victim

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Posted 13/10/2021

Ricardo Martinelli filed a criminal complaint against former deputy José Luis “Popi” Varela, for alleged simulation of punishable acts and slander, in which he asks for compensation of $300,000.

The action was presented two days after Varela, in turn, denounced Martinelli, after he insulted him and assaulted him after giving evidence in the wiretapping trial of the former president the attack. Varela is a witness for the Public Ministry.

Martinelli filed the complaint against Varela because, according to him, he denounced him "knowing that there is no crime and that no harm has been caused to him."

The former president would be contradicting himself since on several occasions he has acknowledged having beaten Varela. Even this morning, before entering the trial, he again referred to the "punch" that he "put" to Varela two days earlier said La Prensa

Martinelli asks that, as evidence, his lawyers Yessica Canto and Shirley Castañeda, who were present at the brawl with  Varela as he left the court, be interviewed. Both lawyers even dedicated various epithets to the former deputy reports La Prensa,  Among the evidence, they provide -among other elements- the complaint presented by Varela and the statement issued that day by the Judicial Branch, to clarify that the fight did not occur in the presence of the three judges of the trial court or in the courtroom.  The events, as well documented by the media present, occurred in the corridors of the First Judicial District, in Plaza Ágora, and in the parking lot.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-files-300000-complaint-against-attack-victim-1

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Martinelli trial suspended until Friday

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Posted 13/10/2021

The oral trial of former President Ricardo Martinelli for alleged wiretapping was suspended on Wednesday, October 13 due to the illness of one of the judges.

According to reports, the afternoon session of the trial was not held because Judge Jennifer Saavedra presented health problems and received a medical disability until Friday.

The trial will resume at 10:00 am at the facilities of the accusatory criminal system in Plaza Ágora.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-trial-suspended-until-friday

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Son of Martinelli awaiting plane ticket to face US trial

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Posted 14/10/2021

On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, the file of Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares,  delivered to the US Embassy in Guatemala  by The Foreign Ministry of Guatemala  formally authorizing , his extradition to the United States to face money laundering   charges

The document was awaiting corrections by the competent courts, to be delivered to the diplomatic headquarters and was the only protocol that was missing.

The information was confirmed by journalist Sergio Osegueda, from Canal Antigua .

Now it is up to the United States Embassy to make the arrangements and reserve the flight that will transport the son of former president Ricardo Martinelli, from the Mariscal Zavala Military Center, where he is detained with his brother Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares.

The two sons of the former President were captured on July 6, 2020, at the request of the United States, where they are required in the Eastern District Court of New York. for the alleged commission of various crimes related to money laundering,

From the moment the date and flight number are confirmed, the Martinelli Linares brothers will separate their paths, since while one will be in the United States, the other will remain in prison in Guatemala.

The extradition process of Ricardo Alberto is still pending resolution in the Third Court of Criminal Sentencing, Drug Trafficking, and Crimes against the Environment.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/son-of-martinelli-awaiting-plane-ticket-to-face-us-trial

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Martinelli trial suspended once again

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Posted 15/10/2021

Prosecutor Ricardo González revealed on Friday, October 15, that he will present a new witness to the interceptions of communications in the trial of former President Ricardo Martinelli.

González did not identify the new witness, but it emerged that it is the PRD leader and former presidential candidate Balbina Herrera, who is also one of the plaintiffs reports La Prensa.

The oral trial was resumed after it was suspended at noon on Wednesday, October 13 due to health problems of Judge Jennifer Saavedra, who is one of the three that make up the Oral Trial Court.

The three judges agreed to the request of the defense o suspend the trial until Monday at 9:00 am

The group of defenders said that due to the cross-examination of the PRD leader Mitchell Doens, the trial would be suspended and the afternoon session will not take place this Friday, October 15.

They also based their request on the fact that a new witness would appear in the case.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-trial-suspended-once-again

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Martinelli “happy” about son’s pending extradition to USA

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Posted 15/10/2021

Former President Ricardo Martinelli put on a show of bravado on Friday, October 15,  saying that he is very "happy" at the imminent extradition of at least one of his two sons to the United States, "since whoever does not owe it, does not fear it " reports La Prensa.

Upon leaving the oral trial that follows him for political espionage in the last two years of his government (2012-2014), the former president was asked about the procedural situation of his sons Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, detained in Guatemala since July 6, 2020, at the request of the United States.

"I would like my children to go to the United States as quickly as possible because they have to prove their innocence there," he said.

That statement contrasts with the legal strategy of the Martinelli Linares brothers in Guatemala, who have presented all kinds of appeals, in various instances, to avoid being handed over to the United States.

Martinelli stated that his offspring wanted to come to Panama to face the processes he has here, for the bribes paid in the Odebrecht and Blue Apple cases.

In fact, for years the whereabouts of Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto was unknown (although at the end of 2018 they were detained for two weeks for immigration issues), but the day they were captured in Guatemala, they were preparing to board a private plane, in the La Aurora airport, which would bring them back to Panama.

"It fills me with great joy and satisfaction that this is over soon because you have to show your face since whoever does not owe it, does not fear it," he said.

On October 13, Canal Antigua reported that the US embassy in Guatemala had received the file of Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares from the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry. The Foreign Ministry acknowledged that it received the documents, but that it is still carrying out the procedures to send it to the embassy, "the body that is responsible for setting the date of extradition."

The extradition process of Ricardo Alberto is slowing down and is still being settled in the Third Court of Criminal Sentencing, Drug Trafficking, and Crimes against the Environment.

The two sons of the former president remain in a military prison.

Both are required for the alleged commission of various crimes related to money laundering, in the Eastern District Court of New York.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-happy-about-sons-pending-extradition-to-usa

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OPINION: Vulgarity scandals and tainted innocence

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Posted 18/10/2021

Since Ricardo Martinelli was elected president in 2009, the country has not had peace. His government - since always - was a mixture of vulgarity and scandals that still resound, because, far from fixing its judicial problems due to the criminal accusations to which he is subject, he has put all kinds of obstacles, challenges, resources, and everything. that he has been able to get his hands on it to produce an outcome that - according to him - would proclaim his tainted innocence. Every day we have a scandal with this man, who is accompanied by people of the same ilk, and who has to be put up with for his public and even private shows. Along with him, there are dozens of former officials who do their thing in the courts without much fuss or theater, without their usual fuss and verbiage. In his world, the blame is not his, but of others, because in his sick mind, the whole world conspires against him, his children, and his family. Every enemy - imaginary or not - is guilty of his bad, terrible and unspeakable decisions, when he only has to look in the mirror to look directly at the person responsible for his actions. It is time to stop being brave with only your feet.- LA PRENSA, Oct 18.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-vulgarity-scandals-and-tainted-innocence

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Two more witnesses intimidated by Martinelli threats

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Posted 20/10/2021

Two Spaniards join the list of witnesses who have suffered intimidation after testifying in processes linked to former President Ricardo Martinelli. They are two former executives of the company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC), who testified about the payment of millionaire bribes in the government of the aforementioned former president.

The former senior executives of FCC, when giving an investigation for their participation in the payment of bribes in Panama, described the corruption scheme imposed on contractors by government officials: they inflated the prices of public works, including the Hospital City and it was agreed with the distribution of tenders and the channeling of payments through a financial framework to launder ill-gotten funds.

Martinelli is on trial for the wiretapping that took place during his tenure. In the process, multiple private conversations of political opponents, journalists, union and civil society leaders, and even commercial competitors have come to light, which was later used as instruments of blackmail, or reproduced on social networks or media related to the president, in order to discredit and intimidate them.

Last Monday, the threats targeted a witness who had just finished testifying at the hearing. The pattern is not new: there are dozens of lawsuits against journalists, intimidating messages, defamatory videos circulating on networks and, with this, physical aggression, which Martinelli himself - that is, its author - confirmed out loud reports La Prensa.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/two-more-witnesses-intimidated-by-martinelli-threats

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Judge keeps mum on draft ruling that would let Martinelli  off the hook

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Posted 21/10/2021

"I have nothing to say to the media,” said Supreme Court judge  Cecilio Cedalise, days after the dissemination in the media of a draft ruling that he prepared and that grants a claim of unconstitutionality to former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli in the wiretapping case which has created a legal whirlwind.

Cedalise refused to give more details to the media covering the inauguration of the XX Ibero-American Judicial Summit, taking place in Panama October 21 - 22.

Supreme Court President Luis Ramón Fábrega, said: "To draw conclusions from a project that is simply what its word indicates, a project, is to look for a problem where it does not exist.

 "You have seen what has come out in the media, I am not going to deny or confirm it," Fabrega told reporters about the draft ruling by his colleague "The eyes of the country are always on the Court, that is nothing strange," he added.

Fábrega remarked that the document prepared by Cedalise has not been put to a vote in the plenary session of the court and he does not believe that it will be discussed this week, as the magistrates participate in the judicial summit.

After the dissemination of the draft ruling, Cedalise sent a letter to the president of that justice corporation in which he demands criminal actions for whoever leaked the documents to the media.

The draft ruling would declare unconstitutional an oral decision, of July 4, 2018, issued by the then magistrate judge of guarantees Jerónimo Mejía. In that decision, Mejía rejected a challenge from Martinelli's defense, which questioned the holding of an accusation hearing in the wiretapping case.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/judge-keeps-mum-on-draft-ruling-that-would-let-martinelli-off-the-hook

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OPINION: Flip flopping in the Supreme Court

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Posted 21/10/2021

OMagistrate Cecilio Cedalise sent a letter to the president of the Supreme Court in which he demands an investigation into the leakage of his draft ruling in favor of former President Ricardo Martinelli in the case of espionage on the private communications of some 150 people, and punish to those responsible for the leak. It is an irony that this magistrate demands the same investigation and punishment for those who are responsible for the leak, at the same time that his draft ruling would invalidate the entire investigation and the trial of the punctures, despite the fact that he signed the sentence that he ratified all the actions in this process of the then magistrate judge of guarantees Jerónimo Mejía, except for the competence of the Supreme Court to continue with this case, since the accused resigned his status as a parliamentarian. This was even recognized by the defendant's own defense, when one of his lawyers said that this ruling was “bittersweet”, because, while the case was sent to the ordinary justice, on the other hand, it validated all the previous decisions of the judge of guarantees, including the subject of the imputation, the reason for the draft ruling. However, Cedalise now has a new opinion and that contradicts what he had no qualms about ratifying before. LA PRENSA, Oct. 21.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-flip-flopping-in-the-supreme-court-1

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Martinelli’s offspring to debut as singers?

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Potential songbirds

Posted 23/10/2021

As Rubén Blade's song says, in the coming days or weeks, Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal's children –Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares– will have to make Decisions —and transcendental ones—, in which there are no winners and yes much to lose. Luis Enrique will be brought before federal prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York, where he and his brother are indicted for alleged conspiracy to launder money and other crimes.

Let's refresh the memory. At the end of 2016, the United States Department of Justice revealed its investigation into Odebrecht, a company that used its banking system to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to pay bribes to hundreds of politicians across the continent.

In the case of Panama, the Department of Justice said that between 2009 and 2012, Odebrecht agreed to pay $26 million "to two close relatives of a senior Panamanian official " in relation to public infrastructure projects, on the understanding that, in exchange, the official would guarantee the contract to Odebrecht.

Investigations in the US also found that payments were made to a Panamanian official, whose name has not been released, by order of a federal judge. However, documents in the US describe him as " an official with a very high position in the government of Panama between 2009 and 2014" and a "close relative " of the two defendants (Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto). That period belongs to the Martinelli Berrocal administration. Obviously, 2 + 2 is not 3 nor is it 5. It is simply 4.

Let's go back to the decisions that the Martinelli brothers must make. The thing is whether or not they decide to cooperate with US federal prosecutors. If they decide not to cooperate, then there will be nothing more to discuss, but to serve their sentence in silence if they are found guilty at trial.

Their father also made a decision: “It fills me with great joy and satisfaction that this is over soon, because one has to show one's face. When you don't owe it, you don't fear it,” he said. He added that his children "are going to have to go to the US to prove [their innocence] there." In other words, let them go and show their faces. I stay ... The brave father is right: "he who does not owe it, does not fear it."

There are signs that lead us to think - but not to conclude - that they may decide to cooperate. Before leaving the United States last year, the brothers met several times with an FBI agent, according to the affidavit (affidavit) that FBI Special Agent Michael Lewandowski delivered to the Eastern District Court of New York.

But this is a new scenario. The brothers must decide whether to expose that "high position in the government of Panama between 2009 and 2014" or if they serve their sentence. Their father has bet everything on nothing on their silence. But what if they decide to debut as singers?  - Rolando Rodriguez B. La Prensa,

Rolando Rodríguez B.

Associate Director and Editor of the Research Unit.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinellis-offspring-to-debut-as-singers

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