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AG and criminal prosecutors analyze Martinelli cases

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Eduardo Ulloa

Posted 10/01/2020

Panama’s Attorney General, Eduardo Ulloa, has called in the country’s senior criminal prosecutors, to review and "analyze" the situation of nearly a dozen cases linked to former president Ricardo Martinelli and the application of the principle of specialty contemplated in the Panama-States extradition treaty United of 1904.

In December  the US State Department sent a note to the Public Prosecutor's Office, on December 12, 2019, in which it states that Martinelli is no longer subject to the principle of specialty in extradition matters.

That means that Martinelli could be investigated, prosecuted and tried in Panama in those cases that are not linked to the wire case for which he was extradited by the United States in June 2018.

On Friday, January 10, in a press release from the Office of Attorney General on the meeting of prosecutors with Ulloa, said that “a review and analysis of the content of various documents was made, including the letter sent by the Sub-Adviser Intelligence and Law Enforcement Law of the US Department of State on December 12, 2019 to the ex-Attorney General, - Kenia Porcell -, in the context of an informal communication, in relation to the situation of the extradited person ”.

In the meeting, reference was also made to the “exchange of notes that was held on April 4, 2019 between the Panamanian Foreign Ministry and the United States Department of State, which is related to the validity and application of the aforementioned principle, and the law 75 of June 14, 1904, which approves an Extradition Convention between the United States of America and Panama. ”

Thomas Heinemann, the State Department official who signed the note received at the Public Prosecutor's Office last December 12, said that the specialty principle contemplated in the extradition treaty would not apply from now on, given that Martinelli has been allowed to travel outside of Panama since September 15.

Regarding the exchange of letters of April 2019, Heinemann and the then director of legal affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gina López Candanedo, agreed that the mechanism by which both countries expressed their consent for exceptions to the specialty principle would be via from the Public Ministry of Panama to the United States Department of State, and vice versa.

In the meeting with Ulloa, were anti-corruption prosecutors against Organized Crime and International participated, Affairs, among others.

In the meantime, Martinelli’s team of lawyers reacted to the US note by calling a press conference to denounce Kenia Porcell and launch a $10 million lawsuit against her

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ag-and-criminal-prosecutors-analyze-martinelli-cases

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The attempts at translation of mainstream media articles by Newsroom Panama are pitiful.

Retributions ..wait for them.

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US says ex-president Martinelli can face cirruption trials

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Posted 14/01/2020

Panama’s  Attorney General, Eduardo Ulloa, has informed the superior prosecutors of a note from the counselor of US the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Department of State that they can move on multiple corruption cases involving former president Ricardo Martinelli and that the decision to proceed with the case or request authorization from a judge of guarantees will depend on the criteria of each prosecutor and the elements in the file.

The United States Department of State, through its embassy in the country, has confirmed that Panama "is free to bring Mr. [Ricardo] Martinelli to trial without obtaining an exemption from the U The pronouncement arises after Thomas Heinemann, advisor to the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Department of State, in a note addressed to the Public Ministry [December 12, 2019], affirmed that the principle of specialty contemplated in the extradition treaty signed by both countries in 1904 would not apply from now on, given that the former president has been allowed to travel outside of Panama since September 15 reports La Pensa.

Martinelli was found not guilty of wiretapping 150 political opponents, journalists, lawyers and businessmen on August 9, 2019, by a Trial Court. He was extradited from the United States in June 2018 to face the charges. The court’s decision is under appeal. Prosecutors had asked for a 22-year jail term.

He potentially faces prosecution in multiple cases of alleged  corruption, money laundering, stock manipulation and embezzlement.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/us-says-ex-president-martinelli-can-face-cirruption-trials

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Justice ready to knock on Martinelli’s doorM

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Posted 17/01/2020

The US  Embassy in Panama has sent Ministry of Foreign Affairs   - a copy of the note from the US Department of State, which states that former President Ricardo Martinelli is no longer subject to the principle of specialization in matters of extradition.

That means that Martinelli can be investigated, prosecuted and tried in Panama in those cases that are not linked to the cause for which he was extradited by the United States in June 2018: that of the punctures.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that it received today [Friday, January 17, 2020] a note from the Embassy of the United States of America, through which it sends us a copy of the letter that was sent by the Mr. Thomas Heinemann, advisor of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the US Department of State, to the Attorney General's Office, in which he communicated the official position of his government around the principle of specialty in the case of former president Ricardo Martinelli ” , notes the press release.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Directorate of Legal Affairs and Treaties, will communicate "formally" to the Attorney General's Office about the receipt of the note signed by Heinemann.

The State Department's note - originally sent to the Office of the Attorney General on December 12, 2019 - states that Panama “is free to bring Mr. Ricardo Martinelli to trial without obtaining an exemption from the Principle of Specialty from the United States” .

It adds that the principle of specialty contemplated in the extradition treaty signed by both countries in 1904 would not apply from now on, since the former president has been allowed to travel outside Panama since September 15.

Martinelli was found not guilty of illegal wiretapping on August 9, 2019, by a Trial Court.  for which he was extradited from the United States in June 2018.

On  Friday, the  Attorney General  G, Eduardo Ulloa, reported that he had already delivered a note of Heinemann's letter to the anti-corruption prosecutors.

"They will have to determine, according to the state in which each case is, the legal option that they will proceed," Ulloa said.

“In addition to delivering the note, we exposed [to the prosecutors] a series of details and emphasized that, regardless of the assessment they made, what cannot happen is that the processes stop.

“ We have to keep moving forward, keep guaranteeing citizens that there is really expedited justice. They will determine at the moment if there are merits or not to include Mr. Martinelli in the investigation, but if they do not have it, they have to continue advancing the processes and take them to the moment when they can already act or they can submit that note to the jurisdictional control ”, the AG added.

There are at half a dozen high profile corruption investigations linked to Martinelli and his former inner circle that are sitting in. limbo

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/justice-ready-to-knock-on-martinellis-doorm-1

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Fugitive sons of Ricardo Martinelli denied bail bolthole

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Fugitive Martinrlli offspring

Posted 20/01/2020

The two fugitive sons of former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli have lost their latest bid to stall their call to justice.

Twelfth Criminal Court has denied a bail request not to be detained filed by the defense of the brothers Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares, under investigation for the alleged laundering of multi-millions of dollars of bribes paid by the Odebrecht company to obtain contracts for the construction of public infrastructure.

In a January 10, ruling, Judge Oscar Carrasquilla denied the benefit to both id because they "have not made their discharges", which "can be considered a refusal to help clarify the facts."

The judge also argues that the procedural situation of both is that they are of "unknown whereabouts", since there is only information "that they are outside the national territory, that  and can be considered an evasion."

Judge Carrasquilla arrives at this conclusion taking into account the aspects that link them to the investigation, “the supposed fact that companies under their ownership may have received money transfers from a company linked to the Structured Operations Department of Odebrecht”.

In addition, the judge indicated that the investigation of this case could not be considered as completed since it was awaiting the resolution of constitutional guarantee protection presented by the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor.

The Amparo referred to by the judge was resolved on January 6 by the First Superior Court which granted the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office up to 5 months and 8 more days to investigate.

The Public Prosecutor initiated the investigation on December 22, 2016, after the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office fingered the Martinelli Linares brothers for allegedly receiving sums of money from Odebrecht through the companies Kadair Investment Ltd, Fordel International Ltd, and Aragon Finance Corp BVI.

 The Office of the Public Prosecutor, when conducting an inspection of an account of Constructora Internacional del Sur, discovered that the Department of Structured Operations of Odebretcht had made a transfer of $3 million to Kadair Investment.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/fugitive-sons-of-ricardo-martinelli-denied-bail-bolthole

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Martinelli wiretap lawyer accused of witness intimidation

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Alfredo Vallarino

Posted 21/01/2020

A  key  witness in the wiretapping  case  of Ricardo Martinelli  has filed a criminal complaint against Alfredo Vallarino Alemán, one of the former defense lawyers of Ricardo Martinelli

In the complaint, filed by  Ismael Pittí, on Tuesday, January 21 Vallarino is accused of intimidation of a witness, after Martinelli's lawyer filed a complaint against Pitti, for alleged false testimony.

In the action filed by Pittí, he considers that Vallarino's complaint against him is intended to threaten and intimidate him, given the role he had in the trial of  Martinelli last year. In which the court declared the former president "not guilty" but the case is still under appeal.

According to Pitti, Vallarino tries to  "annihilate his will to give truthful testimony about what he knows and induce him to false testimony” in the event that his intervention is required again in the process against Martinelli.

For his part, Vallarino denounced Pittí because, according to him,  the different statements given by  Pitti when  “checked”, there were  “many falsehoods” against his client. He also claims that Pittí is investigated for alleged embezzlement since in 2014 he was a “corporal” with a salary of $700 per month at the National Security Council (CSN), but after his statement, he was sent to Washington, United States, to a diplomatic, a position with as alary - according to Vallarino - of $7,000 a month.

Ismael Pittí, who is still residing in the United States,  says La Prensa is the person who in 2014 informed the Assistant Prosecutor that “illegal interventions and interpretations” were carried out at the CSN, using a device acquired with funds from the National Assistance Program (PAN), from an Israeli company. Among the "objectives" of the CSN, the witness listed up to 150 politicians, trade unionists, journalists,  leaders of organized civil society and businessmen opposed to Martinelli. The interceptions - according to the protected witness - were carried out clandestinely.

These facts were confirmed by Pitti in the oral trial held last year, against Martinelli. Initially, Pitti had the status of a protected witness, but on the podium, he renounced his anonymity.

The witness also reported that he was recruited by Ronny Rodríguez and William Pitty, both agents of the CSN and currently of unknown whereabouts, to carry out the espionage between 2012 and 2014, commissioned by then-President Martinelli.

Pittí told the judges that Ronny Rodríguez - who was deputy director of the CSN – went daily to the Presidency, to deliver reports - inside a manila paper envelope - of the activities entrusted by Martinelli. The diligence was carried out every day, except when the president was out of the country.

For the same activities, Alejandro Garúz and Gustavo Pérez, former directors of the CSN in the Martinelli government, were sentenced to 50 months in prison, each in January 2019. The sentences were appealed.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-wiretap-lawyer-accused-of-witness-intimidation

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Judges reject 3 Martinelli slander complaints

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Frustrated Martinelli

Posted 07/02/2020

Former president Ricardo Martinelli who has fattened the wallets of his team of lawyers with a shower of multi-million-dollar lawsuits against individuals since his acquittal in the illegal spying on opponents case (currently under appeal).  got a triple whammy from judges of guarantees on Friday, February 7.

 The complaint of slander and insult, filed against the lawyer and radio commentator, Mariela Ledezma was archived and a  judge ruled that there was no crime in a complaint against Annette Planells of Movin. A complaint against Roberto Eisenmann, founder of La Prensa, met a similar fate.

Planells recalled that these cases are related to comments made by both commentators in interviews and social networks.

While in office Martinelli gained notoriety for his Trump-style personal attacks on individual journalists.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/judges-reject-3-martinelli-slander-complaints-1

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Ex-president uses money and courts to strike back

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Posted 19/02/2020

The third civil circuit judge, Ana Zita Rowe, admitted a request for the seizure of Martinelli filed against Panama’s ex-attorney general  Kenia Porcell, for up to $ 120,000.

The amount would be in the concept of capital, costs, and expenses for the lawsuit filed by Martinelli.

Billionaire Martinelli  who has lived up to repeated promises has been scattering lawsuits  like black confetti since the end of his trial for illegal wiretapping must record - as established by the Judicial Code - $30,000 as a guarantee "in order to respond for possible damages that may be caused by the implementation of the measure."

"I will continue working to clear my name, and those responsible must face justice," Martinelli wrote on his Twitter account.

In January  Martinelli (2009-2014) presented three criminal complaints: one against his successor Juan Carlos Varela and two against former prosecutor Kenia  Porcell. The complaints were filed by Alejandro Pérez, Martinelli's lawyer,

The complaint against Varela is for the alleged commission of crimes against the public administration, as is one of the complaints against Porcell. The other action against the ex-AG is for the alleged commission of the crimes of slander.

Porcell, as head of the Public Ministry between 2014 and 2019, led several investigations of alleged corruption during Martinelli's administration.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-president-uses-money-and-courts-to-strike-back

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OPINION:  Intimidation of Panamanian  democracy

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Ricardo Martinelli and his lawyers move against former prosecutor

Posted 20/02/2020

There is a strategy to intimidate judges, prosecutors, and any official who dares to act on the criminal causes of a local political connotation. A civil court granted him the kidnapping of assets of a high-ranking former official who worked in the Attorney General's Office. These decisions can be made prejudicially, that is, without there being a conviction against the former official.  If he wanted to denounce, there is the path of a Public Ministry that has a new boss, there is also the Ethics Court of the National Bar Association and the Fourth Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice. But since that is not the true intention of the civil kidnapping carried out, it is clear that the objective is another: Who is going to dare now to move a finger on all the pending cases of this politician? What prosecutor, Judge or magistrate of the Court will not think twice before acting against him? If this case thrives, Panama will be a hostage of the highest bidder. A country without justice leaves the door open to tyranny and corruption. In other words, it is the end of democracy and the freedoms of all Panamanians. Only the powerful who have hands full of money l can decide how to investigate when to judge and who is convicted.- LA PRENSA. Feb. 20

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-intimidation-of-panamanian-democracy-1

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Corruption probe moves closer to Martinelli fugitive sons

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The Martinelli sons after an arrest in Miami

Posted 21/02/2020

Maya Cikuler Spiller, a 46-year-old accountant, was arrested in Uruguay on Thursday, Feb. 20  on an Interpol warrant initiated while trying to move to Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was brought before authorities and a judge decreed house arrest while Panama processed her extradition for investigations linked to Odebrecht and the sons of ex-president Martinelli (2009-2014).  The  process  must be done in 60 days

 The role of Cikurel Spiller, who, according to Uruguayan and Argentine media, is the partner of Uruguay’s designated Minister of Education and Culture, is linked to the Odebrecht Switzerland case, which directly involves Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, sons of the former president.

Cikurel Spiller, along with American Barry William Hernan, and Brazilians Hilberto Mascarenhas Alves da Silva and Luiz Eduardo Soares was charged by Swiss prosecutors with bribes, forgery of documents and money laundering

In Panama, she faces charges of money laundering. In June 2019, La Prensa published her name among the nine people pending before the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor in the case.

It is linked to the company Arcadex Corp., through which the construction company would have paid bribes to the children of former President Martinelli. Arcadex Corp. was created in Uruguay but is based in Belize.

However, according to sources from the Public Ministry, says La Prensa,  the Uruguayan must also be held accountable by four other companies that allegedly received money from the Odebrecht Box 2 to bribe officials and individuals in exchange for multi-million public works contacts.

Swiss authorities have seized over $22 million from accounts linked to the sons, and Panama seized a helicopter. Both fugitives ere last reported in the US where they await extradition processes with multi-million bonds

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/corruption-probe-moves-closer-to-martinelli-fugitive-sons

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Martinelli fugitive sons get $2 million apiece bail deal

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Posted 12/03/2020

The Second Superior Court of Justice granted bonds for not being detained, of two million dollars each, to brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares , as part of the investigation of the bribes that Odebrecht paid by Odebrecht in the country.

The decision of the Second Court, signed by María de Lourdes Estrada Villar and José Hoo Justiniani, repeals a ruling on January 10 of the twelfth criminal judge, Oscar Carrasquilla, who had denied the request for bail to the fugitives.

The brothers, charged with the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering, were imposed the precautionary measure to prevent them from leaving the country.

The sons of former president  Ricardo Martinelli face two requests for extradition and red alert from Interpol, within two judicial processes followed by the Public Prosecutor's Office: that of Odebrecht-Switzerland and that of Blue Apple, both regarding the payment of bribes to officials and relatives to the Martinelli government (2009-2014).

On December 4, 2018, the Martinelli brothers were benefited by a US judge with a bail of $ 1 million, after being arrested in November of that year for an immigration case.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-fugitive-sons-get-2-million-apiece-bail-deal

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Pandora's box re-opens for Martinelli as probes resume

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Posted 13/05/2020

Criminal processes including high profile players like ex-president Ricardo Martinelli and his sons, and former president Juan Carlos Varela will resume on Monday, May 18   as the office of the Attorney General Eduardo Ulloa prepares to return to where it  left off on  March 19, when the suspension of judicial terms was decreed due to the pandemic emergency.

The reopening of the work was determined according to a Supreme Court agreement on April 30.

Despite the pandemic, Public Ministry (MP) reported that prosecutors have been active and now are starting to organize to resume the procedures that were on the agenda before.

Each office is preparing an action plan to advance the investigations

Odebrecht
Among the cases that must be reactivated are those of the bribes that Odebrecht paid in Panama to obtain multi-billion dollar contracts.

On March 12, the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office imposed country arrest on  Doctor Jaime Lasso , who in the past proclaimed himself as a "lobbyist" of Odebrecht.

According to the investigation, through different companies linked to Lasso, the Brazilian construction company gave at least $10 million to the Panameñista Party, to which former President Juan Carlos Varela belongs

It is estimated that as part of this investigation, other figures related to the Party will be called to testify before the prosecution reports La Prensa

Investigations in which Ricardo Martinelli) is linked are also on the agenda.

In the Public Ministry, they reported that these are six cases that the Supreme Court of Justice sent them after the former president resigned from being a member of the Central American Parliament (June 2018).

These are the cases for alleged irregularities in the collection of tax through Cobranzas del Istmo SA; the complaint filed by Aurelio Camano for alleged anomalies in the sale of land in Veraguas; the complaint about granting pardons to people convicted and prosecuted for common crimes.

Likewise, the case of alleged irregularities in the granting of a loan from the State Savings Bank; that of alleged anomalies in the purchase of dehydrated food; and the complaint filed by the Superintendence of the Stock Market for the alleged use of privileged information for the purchase of shares in the company Petaquilla Minerals through the defunct securities firm Financial Pacific.

US role
A note from Thomas Heinemann, counselor in the Office of Foreign Affairs of the United States Department of State, cleared the way to investigate Martinelli for the cases. In the letter, dated December 12, 2019, Heinemann informed the Public Ministry that Panama is free to bring Martinelli to trial without obtaining an exemption to the Principle of Specialty from the United States.

This, due to the fact that this principle contemplated in the extradition treaty signed by both countries in 1904 would no longer apply, because the ex-president has been allowed to travel outside of Panama since  September 15.

Heinemann's position was ratified by staff from the US embassy in Panama. and  Ulloa informed the superior prosecutors of the note for them to start investigating.

He reiterated that Panama is a subscriber to international treaties and conventions and among these is the extradition treaty of 1904, which establishes the extradition of Panama with the United States and, according to Ortiz, one of the basic principles of that treaty is that of specialty.

The anti-corruption prosecutors must also continue other high-profile cases in which crimes against public administration, corruption, money laundering, influence peddling, among others, are investigated.

The Pandeportes, Blue Apple, Community Boards, FCC and New Business cases, among others,

Once the judicial term resume, the different judicial offices will apply strict biosecurity measures to avoid new infections of coronavirus.

They will also continue to use telework in cases that allow it. In addition, they reported that they will have special schedules with semi-face-to-face sessions, and some hearings will take place through video, as they have done in the last two months says La Prensa

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/pandora039s-box-re-opens-for-martinelli-as-probes-resume-1

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Martinelli applies  $10 million screw to former judge

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Posted 04/06/2020

The high priced legal team of Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli has filed a criminal complaint against the of former Supreme Court Judge  (CSJ), Harry Díaz, for collusion, to the detriment of Martinelli, and demands a payment of $ 10 million for alleged damages.

The former president's complaints against Diaz and other judges have been described as seeking to intimidate justice.

The complaint - filed by lawyers Jamis Acosta and Alejandro Pérez - states that the ex-magistrate violated article 46 of the Penal Code, which establishes that the public servant of the Judicial Branch or the Public Ministry who by fraudulent means utters any resolution manifestly contrary to the Constitution or the law so as to cause damage, will be punished with a sentence of five to ten years in prison.

Díaz served as a prosecuting  magistrate in the process followed by Martinelli for alleged political espionage and embezzlement.

Martinelli was imprisoned and extradited by the United States at the request of the CSJ. The case left the sphere of the Court when Martinelli resigned as a Central American parliamentarian. In August 2019, a panel of three judges declared him " not guilty ", a decision that is being appealed.

According to the complaint, the fiscal hearing that Díaz prepared on October 9, 2015, in which he asks for up to 21 years in prison for Martinelli, “was carried out in total absence of the procedures established in articles 5 and 280 of the Penal Code and that the law was misused to make an accusation contrary to the law. ”

It also details that "the absence of a formal complaint in this case and having gone directly to the prosecution" caused damage to the life and honor of the former president and that the action taken by Díaz, had the "sole intention" of take it to a "legal way of the cross, without real legal foundations".

They complain that Díaz made public statements referring to the case, when it was no longer his responsibility.

Díaz – whose 10-year term as a Supreme Court judge  last December, said that a criminal complaint seeking compensation leaves much to be desired by Martinelli's lawyers.

In addition, he will be happy to explain to a prosecutor how the Plenary of the Court voted on the issue of the charge in cases involving deputies of the Republic, whether from the National Assembly or from the Parlacen.

In fact, all of Díaz's actions, as prosecutor of the case, were endorsed by the then magistrate judge of guarantees Jerónimo Mejía and by the plenary of the Court.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-applies-10-million-screw-to-former-judge

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Bail for fugitive Martinelli sons appealed

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Martinelli sons at the time of arrest in Miami

Posted 11/06/2020

The Public Ministry  has presented an Amparo of guarantees against the decision to grant  bail to  the two   fugitive sons of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli l

The Second Superior Court granted bonds not to be detained, of $2 million each, to Ricardo Martinelli -  Ricardo Alberto "Rica" and Luis Enrique "Kike" Martinelli Linares part of the investigation of bribes paid by  Odebrecht in Panama.

The decision in March,  was signed by María de Lourdes Estrada Villar and José Hoo Justiniani, revokes a ruling of l January 10 by the twelfth criminal judge, Óscar Carrasquilla, who had denied the request for bail to the fugitives.

The brothers, are accused of f money laundering and  were imposed with the precautionary measure to prevent them from leaving the country. They were last seen in the United States.

They face two requests for extradition and a red alert from Interpol, within two judicial processes followed by the Public Ministry: that of Odebrecht-Switzerland and that of Blue Apple, both regarding the payment of bribes to officials and those close to the government de Martinelli (2009-2014).

In November 2018 they were detained by US immigration agents. In Floral Gables  Miami  where the family has a mansion. A  judge released them in exchange for a $1 million bond for each but their current location is unknown, although one of the brothers had been reported to be in San Francisco.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/bail-for-fugitive-martinelli-sons-appealed

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Money laundering case against Martinelli fugitive sons

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Posted 12/06/2020

The Amparo of guarantees presented by the Public Ministry to the Supreme Court over the bonds (of $2 million each) granted to Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares-   in the Odebrecht case, identifies the fact that the Second Court did not take into account statements that it had previously issued in the same process.

For example, reports La Prensa the seriousness of the crime (alleged money laundering), evasive conduct, their ability to erase traces to the extent that their current whereabouts are unknown, the danger of destruction of evidence, not having a fixed residence in the national territory and the economic capacity to take flight.

Tania Sterling, senior anti-corruption prosecutor, who drafted the appeal, recalled that Odebrecht would have made "illegal payments" in the period 2009-2014, and even earlier.

The Amparo of constitutional guarantees presented by the anti-corruption prosecutor Sterling against the bail not to be detained in the Odebrecht case granted on  March 6 warns that the magistrates of the Second Superior Court relied on “conjectures” to grant them that benefit.

The prosecutor refers to magistrate María De Lourdes Estrada and her colleague José Hoo Justiniani, who she said, they did not explain the legal reasons on which they based their decision.

Sterling,  said that the magistrates contradict arguments issued in five previous rulings by the court itself and the Twelfth Criminal Court, which had rejected that bail.

She stated that the procedural situation of the children of former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) has not changed. He recalled that an arrest warrant for extradition purposes weighs on both brothers, not only for the Odebrecht investigation but for the Blue Apple case .

The ruling, said Sterling, leaves "more doubts than answers." This, due to the fact that the magistrates state in the judgment that "there is no danger of flight" or "danger of destruction of evidence", an approach that, according to the prosecution, contradicts previous court decisions that state, precisely, the opposite.

The ruling that granted the bail to the Martinelli Linares also says that "they are Panamanians, they remain rooted in Panama City," and states that there is no evidence that once they post the bail, they may put the other elements related to the investigation at risk. , since the case is from 2017 and has evolved "considerably in relation to the fact that links them".

Sterling refuted the court's claim that Martinelli's children "remain rooted in Panama," arguing that they have both been out of the country for more than six years and have been charged in the case in three of those years. and  have not returned to the country at that time, "totally dissociating themselves from their obligations."

"The Martinelli Linares never faced the process, which is why the prosecution requested their  extradition," said the prosecutor, who also explained that the Second Court of Justice violated article 32 of the Constitution, which enshrines the fundamental guarantee of due process, as well as article 20 of the Magna Carta, which establishes that "Panamanians and foreigners are equal before the law."

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Among the arguments presented by Sterling that allegedly demonstrate the Martinelli Linares brothers' connection with the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering, is the statement by André Rabello, former superintendent of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in Panama.

The former executive of the construction company revealed, among other things, that he made multi payments to the brothers to streamline invoice procedures and overcome administrative obstacles in the company's public works contracts in Panama. All this, using the power they had for being the children of the then President of the Republic. In fact, the deal between Odebrecht and the Martinelli Linares, according to Rabello, was signed before July 1, 2009, when Martinelli had not yet taken office but was already president-elect.

Rabello's confession came to light in November 2017, when the Twelfth Criminal Court, in charge of Óscar Carrasquilla, validated three collaboration agreements between the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office and Odebrecht.

Sterling also said  that the brothers "used companies in various jurisdictions to open accounts that received illicit money from Kadair Investment Ltd, Fordel International and Aragon Finance Corp, all controlled by Odebrecht."

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/money-laundering-case-against-martinelli-fugitive-sons

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Spanish newspaper appeals Martinelli ruling

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Posted 18/06/2020

The Spanish o newspaper El Mundo reports that it will appeal the judgment of a Madrid Court, which condemns the media to publish a " rectification " demanded by  former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli.

The  news story links the Spanish FCC company with corruption and money laundering for paying $92 million in commissions in Panama.The company received contacts totaling hundreds of millions from the Martinelli administration

On June 12, Judge Eusebia Martín Cuesta condemned the SLU General Information Publishing Unit to publish a rectification requested by Martinelli, after El Mundo cited statements by the head of legal counsel for the FCC company, who testified before the anti-corruption prosecution Spain - last July- that the documents attached to the complaint “had served as formal cover for the departure of company funds to Mauricio Cort as Martinelli frontman, for the payment of commissions demanded by the latter to allow FCC to operate in Panama within the scope of its public works business ”.

FCC is charged with corruption in international transactions and money laundering, for paying 82 million euros ($92.1 million dollars, at the current exchange rate) in commissions to obtain awards in Panama.

Judge Martín Cuesta accepted a “request” from Martinelli for El Mundo to reproduce the following “rectification”: “ Mr. Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal is not under investigation in the criminal proceedings of the Central Court of Instruction nº Two to which you refer in your article, nor in any other type of judicial, criminal, administrative or civil proceedings, neither in Spain nor in Panama, directly or indirectly related to the news item contained in its article on the initiation of criminal proceedings against FCC Construcción, FCC Construcción Centroamérica y Hospital Constructions ”.

The judge, who also ordered the defendant to pay the costs of the process, said that an appeal can be filed against his decision within 20 days. El Mundo said it would follow the appeal process, indicated that it will proceed in this way.

"The sentence has several defects of substance and form," said Moyano, the newspaper's deputy director.

In its defense, El Mundo alleges that it cannot rectify sentences issued by a third party, in this case, the statements of the person in charge of legal counsel at the FCC before the anti-corruption prosecution. The publication considers that "it is not empowered to 'rectify' the opinions of a third party, nor to put into its mouth words that it has not issued."

Martinelli, in his petition, alleges that the information is "inaccurate, biased and confusing", and that it has caused him "serious harm".

Although María Mercedes Revillo Sánchez is listed in court documents as Martinelli's defender, the former president congratulated Colombian lawyer Diego Cadena "for his excellent work accomplished in Spain, so that the media in that country publish the right of reply."

The newspaper El Tiempo in Bogotá recalled that Cadena, who was a lawyer for former President Álvaro Uribe and "agent for drug lords", is called to  face charges  for the alleged buying  of witnesses in the midst of a process that is being carried out,  against Uribe.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/spanish-newspaper-appeals-martinelli-ruling

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Martinelli pays $2 million to avoid fugitive  son’s arrest

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FUGITIVES -Luis Enrique y Ricardo and Alberto Martinelli Linares

Posted 23/06/2020

The lawyera of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli have posted a $2 million bond to keep   Enrique Martinelli Linares, one of his two fugitive sons from being arrested.  Another $2 million for the second son is likely to follow.

The  bond was granted by the Second Superior Court in a March 6 ruling, as part of the investigation underway with his brother Ricardo Alberto for alleged money laundering related to Odebrecht.

Sources from the and the Public Ministry Judicial Branch confirmed that the ex-president's lawyers posted the bond and that they are proceeding with procedures to do the same with Ricardo Alberto Martinelli, to whom the court also gave the same benefit and for the same amount.

The anti-corruption prosecutor Tania Sterling filed an Amparo against the bonds, but as it has not been admitted or rejected so far by  Supreme Court Judge  Luis Ramón Fábrega, the defense of the sons moved on the procedures.

The sources told La Prensa that if the Amparo had already been admitted, the process of registering both bonds would have been suspended.

The defense of the brothers  filed an opposition appeal under the constitutional guarantees proposed by Sterling against the decision of the Second Superior Court to grant bonds of $ 2 million to each of them,

The lawyer Carlos Carrillo, who represents the Martinelli Linares brothers, argues in the opposition appeal that Prosecutor Sterling tries to make the Supreme Court a third instance in which the decision of the Superior Criminal Court to access the bail request.

Carrillo, who is also part of the team of lawyers of ex-president  Martinelli, affirms that the constitutional guarantees claim can only be invoked if there is a violation of a fundamental guarantee and can only be filed by the person against whom an order is executed; that is to say, in this case, said power is not the responsibility of the prosecution.

It also refers to bonds granted to people who, like the Martinelli Linares brothers, were outside the country, such as Mayer Mizrachi.

In January 2016, the Second Court granted a release bond of $100,000 to Mayer Mizrachi Matalon, then investigated for the alleged commission of crimes against the public administration.

Mizrachi had been detained in Colombia, following an alert issued by Interpol at the request of the First Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, which was investigating him

In October 2019, the Thirteenth Criminal Court denied an appeal that sought the annulment of the process followed by Mizrachi.

In the Amparo filed on June 11, Sterling alleged that the Second Court did not assess the inattention of both defendants to the process or the seriousness of the crime, their evasive conduct, and their ability to destroy evidence.

She   recalled that, presumably, the brothers had received payments from Odebrecht between 2009 and 2014 -when their father was president  and even earlier.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-pays-2-million-to-avoid-fugitive-sons-arrest

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Fugitive son of ex-president seeks  private jet humanitarian flight

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Posted 25/06/2020

Luis Enrique “Kike” Martinelli Linares one -of the  fugitive sons of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli-  who has paid bonds totaling $7 million to avoid being, arrested  has asked for authorization to return to  Panama  on a “humanitarian” flight, in a private jet  the day after having entered two bonds - one for $ 2 million and the other for $5 million,

Luis Enrique “Kike” Martinelli Linares one -of the  fugitive sons of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli-  who has paid bonds totaling $7 million to avoid being, arrested  has asked for authorization to return to  Panama  on a “humanitarian” flight, in a private jet  the day after having entered two bonds - one for $ 2 million and the other for $5 million - as part of the investigations in the Odebrecht and Blue Apple cases

Luis Eduardo Camacho González, a lawyer for Martinelli Linares, and long time spokesman for the ex-president a sent a note on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, to Foreign Minister Alejandro Ferrer, stating that his client, "who currently has a release bond," requests to return to Panama in a private flight that would land in Albrook, Scarlet Martínez de Río Hato airport "or any Panamanian airport today".

Camacho said that his client is traveling with his wife Marelisa Garuz Adames and their two minor daughters.

The family will travel on the plane with the registration N362XP, on behalf of Overseas Transcom Corp. In., A company incorporated in Delaware, United States, but which operates charter flights from Jacksonville, Florida reports La Prensa,

The lawyer claims humanitarian and legal reasons. "Due to the world situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, they could not remain in the country they were in, so it is necessary to return to their country with their family since their bail has been duly recorded in their respective courts, ”says Camacho.

The same day, June 23, the director of International Legal Affairs and Treaties of the Chancellery, Vladimir Franco, answered the note and replied that the attorney must address his request to the Ministry of Health since that is the entity that authorizes or denies the entry into the country of each humanitarian flight.

"In the event that the humanitarian flight is authorized, it will be subject to verification and compliance with the health and safety protocols approved by the corresponding authorities," Franco said.

The whereabouts of Luis Enrique Martinelli is currently unknown, although in November 2018 he was detained with his brother, Ricardo Alberto Rica Martinelli Linares, in Miami, Florida where both were released on bail.

The authorities then reported that they did not have a visa to stay in the United States. The Panamanian Foreign Ministry requested the extradition of both brothers to answer for the Blue Apple and Odebrecht cases.

Story developing million - as part of the investigations in the Odebrecht and Blue Apple cases

Luis Eduardo Camacho González, a lawyer for Martinelli Linares, and long time spokesman for the ex-president a, sent a note on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, to Foreign Minister Alejandro Ferrer, stating that his client, "who currently has a release bond," requests to return to Panama in a private flight that would land in Albrook, Scarlet Martínez de Río Hato airport "or any Panamanian airport today".

Camacho said that his client is traveling with his wife Marelisa Garuz Adames and their two minor daughters.

The family will travel on the plane with the registration N362XP, on behalf of Overseas Transcom Corp. In., A company incorporated in Delaware, United States, but which operates charter flights from Jacksonville, Florida reports La Prensa,

The lawyer claims humanitarian and legal reasons. "Due to the world situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, they could not remain in the country they were in, so it is necessary to return to their country with their family since their bail has been duly recorded in their respective courts, ”says Camacho.

The same day, June 23, the director of International Legal Affairs and Treaties of the Chancellery, Vladimir Franco, answered the note and replied that the attorney must address his request to the Ministry of Health since that is the entity that authorizes or denies the entry into the country of each humanitarian flight.

"In the event that the humanitarian flight is authorized, it will be subject to verification and compliance with the health and safety protocols approved by the corresponding authorities," Franco said.

The whereabouts of Luis Enrique Martinelli is currently unknown, although in November 2018 he was detained with his brother, Ricardo Alberto Rica Martinelli Linares, in Miami, Florida where both were released on bail.

The authorities then reported that they did not have a visa to stay in the United States. The Panamanian Foreign Ministry requested the extradition of both brothers to answer for the Blue Apple and Odebrecht cases.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/fugitive-son-of-ex-president-seeks-private-jet-humanitarian-flight

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Martinelli son pays   $7 million in bonds to avoid arrest

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Posted 25/06/2020

Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares,  fugitive son of former President Ricardo Martinelli  has posted  a $5 million bond not to be detained, as part of the process that following him for alleged money laundering in the Blue Apple case.  

The latest bond was posted on  Monday, June 22, before the office headed by the third criminal judge of the First Judicial District, Baloisa Marquínez.

The benefit was granted to him by the Second Superior Court of Justice on May 20 .

That same day, Martinelli Linares entered another bond - of $2 million - not to be detained in the investigation for the bribes that Odebrecht paid in Panama, before the twelfth Criminal judge, Óscar Carrasquilla.

Earlier reports said that  Swiss authorities had frozen $22 million in accounts of the Martinelli sons and a luxury apartment in Madrid and a helicopter in Mexico had been seized by Panamanian authorities.

The  current whereabouts of Luis Enrique Martinelli is currently unknown, although in November 2018 he was detained with his brother, Ricardo Alberto Rica Martinelli Linares , in Miami, Florida.

The authorities then reported that they did not have a visa to stay in the United States. The Panamanian Foreign Ministry requested the extradition of both brothers to answer for the Blue Apple and Odebrecht cases.

In both processes, Rica Martinelli was also favored with bonds to avoid arrest, but these had not been recorded.

Anti-corruption prosecutor Tania Sterling , who is leading the Odebrecht case, filed an Amparo against bail, which has not yet been resolved in the Supreme Court. In the Amparo, Sterling alleged that the Second Court did not assess the inattention of both defendants to the process or the seriousness of the crime charged, their evasive conduct and their ability to destroy evidence at the time of granting them bail.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-son-pays-7-million-in-bonds-to-avoid-arrest

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Escape hatch for corruption suspects ?

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Ricardo Martinelli and sons face numerous corruption probes

Posted 27/06/2020

There is something I am missing  One of the sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli has asked to return to the country. He says that the Covid-19 does not allow him to live in the United States, where he, his brother and family went to live, while here they were investigated for being alleged perpetrators of serious crimes. Beyond how childish the excuse is, what it does reveal is that something has changed. Hell does not become paradise without the agreement of its rulers writes Rolando Rodríguez B. in La Prensa

Both Luis Enrique Martinelli - the one who wants to return - and his brother Ricardo Alberto, are up to their necks in the Odebrecht case. But now the first one has bail and is ready to return.

There are others reported from Brazil who are also almost happy. They speak wonders of the new attorney and they are no longer so concerned. At the same time, all of them, including the former president, ask that Juan Carlos Varela be prosecuted for the same crimes, certain that he, and only he, will be convicted.

And this is where I get lost. If Martinelli and his clique demand that Varela be prosecuted and sentenced, what makes him sure that his children will be free of guilt?

Logic tells me that if everyone received bribes, and there is evidence of it, then everyone should go to jail, with which, the so-called "princes" and the whole lot of circle zero would end up in the same cell as Varela. So should I think that the one with the accusing finger wants to see not only Varela in prison but also his offspring? Or, will there be a selection of culprits?

Recall that Odebrecht Vice President for Latin America, Luiz Antonio Mameri - responsible for approving bribes in the region - stated that Odebrecht director in Panama André Rabello asked him for authorization to pay bribes. Rabello told him that he was contacted by Martinelli's children and they agreed that the latter would receive $35 million in exchange for helping Odebrecht collect money owed by the state. This, not counting the processes opened for alleged laundering in Switzerland, money that would have been paid by Odebrecht, and deposited in the Swiss bank.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/escape-hatch-for-corruption-suspects

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Foreign Ministry washes hands of ex-oresident extradition tangle

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Ricardo Martinelli

Posted 29/06/2020

The Director of International Legal Affairs and Treaties of the  Foreign Ministry of  Vladimir Franco, says that "at no time has he issued an opinion regarding whether or not the principle of specialty remains in force in the case of former president  Ricardo Martinelli.

"The Directorate of International Legal Affairs and Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no legal authority or competence to determine the scope, interpretation or application of the norms contained in a treaty to a supposed particular event ventilated in the Panamanian jurisdiction," says a  Ministry statement.

Foreign Relations indicated that this function must be carried out by the authorities of the Public Ministry and the judicial body.

The statement responded to a request for certification from Martinelli’s legal representatives regarding "whether within the file containing his extradition there was official documentation where his delivery to the Panamanian State was reported and that he was protected by the principle of specialty at the time of his extradition. "

The statement makes it clear that the Directorate of International Legal Affairs and Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "is only the conduit to channel the communications that occur between the competent authorities of both governments, regarding the extradition process."

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/foreign-ministry-washes-hands-of-ex-oresident-extradition-tangle

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A fugitive in search of impunity

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Posted 29/06/2020

Wings for a fugitive. Before Panama closed its borders due to Covid-19, there was no restriction for its nationals to return voluntarily to the country, including those with outstanding debts to justice.

Now it turns out that a fugitive alleges humanitarian reasons to return, despite having had the opportunity to do so for five years. He preferred to run away than face his legal processes, as he learned at home. And now he is a fugitive here and a fugitive there because he escaped from the country where he has lived all these years.

Behind the innocent request for authorization of a humanitarian flight, there is a diplomatic mess in which even a third country is involved, the one where the fugitive has been stranded for a week. His former hosts were not happy, not only because of the flight but for the legal issues that were left unfinished.

The change of address that they pursue, once again, is impunity. The Panamanian authorities have been warned that knowing the trick, they will lend themselves to the charade. Their complicity would cause the foreign authorities to lose reach over the petitioner since our Constitution prohibits the extradition of their nationals.

Here, obviously, they will clothe themselves in the Palace. Be careful, because the price of pleasing fugitives may not be a good deal for them. because our Constitution prohibits the extradition of its nationals. Here, obviously, they will clothe themselves in the Parlacen- LA PRENSA, June 29

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/a-fugitive-in-search-of-impunity

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Martinelli wants to kidnap La Prensa

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El Loco and family have their own legal challenges

Posted 30/06/2020

Martinelli promises to “kidnap” La Prensa

Former president Ricardo Martinelli, potentially entangled in multiple criminal investigations has been sending   lawsuits in all directions like some buccaneer with his flag nailed to the mast firing  off grapeshot at an  encircling fleet  seeking to haul him to justice.

One of the targets is La Prensa whose team of investigative journalists has challenged many administrations  The Martinelli family with a quarterdeck packed with well-rewarded compliant legal lieutenants has filed some thirty lawsuits (criminal and civil) against Corporación La Prensa, SA (Corprensa) , its directors and journalists from La Prensa and Mi Diario, and now the former governor threatens to “ kidnap the administration ” of the newspapers.

" I have more demands on them, not only me, but others, but next time I will kidnap the administration, the Varelista environment, which is the real extension of the cage of madmen. I am their sole reason for being and existing. Please don't forget me on a daily basis. Without me, they don't exude hatred. Que Rico [sic] ”, wrote Martinelli on Tuesday, June 30, on his account Twitter account

Martinelli who once reveled in the title El Loco ( the crazy one) which he adopted during his election campaign when it was alleged that he was bipolar. does not give more details about his actions, but his conduct has already been described as an attempt to censor, intimidate and/or persecute journalists and the media reports La Prensa Only against Corprensa, the Martinelli Linares family already accumulates 17 civil lawsuits: two filed by Marta Linares de Martinelli and 15 by the former president, in which the joint claims amounts to $46 million. In addition, they have filed 15 criminal complaints.

In total, it has sued 37 people, including journalists, executives, cartoonists and columnists from Corprensa.

Meanwhile, he has also turned his legal guns on numerous others who have crossed his path.

“I find the message very worrying, not only because of its tone but also because of the content of the threat, which for the first time speaks of hijacking the administration of a media outlet. This represents a very serious attempt to abuse the judicial system to limit the rights of expression and information," said Sabrina Bacal, president of the National Council of Journalism (CNP) .

Roberto Eisenmann, founding president of La Prensa , warned that a kidnapping involves the closure of the corporation.

“If it occurs to someone in the judicial sector to follow that dire purpose, we are facing a very dangerous situation in this country. If it happens, we are talking about the closure of La Prensa. So that's the seriousness of the threat, "said Eisenmann.

He recalled that in its four decades, La Prensa has been threatened and even suffered three closings in the 1980s, during the military dictatorship. "It was always reborn stronger."

José Isabel Blandón, president of the Panameñista Party and former presidential candidate, considered that an administrative kidnapping would be "a total outburst" and an attack on freedom of expression.

I would say the same if it were a kidnapping against Panamá América or La Estrella . It is not good and less because of a civil lawsuit for damages and opens a very dangerous door, "he said.

Panama America is a Martinelli-owned newspaper.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/martinelli-wants-to-kidnap-la-prensa-1

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Two former presidents called to face corruption probes

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Ricardo Martinelli

Posted 01/07/2020

Former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) was summoned by Anti-corruption prosecutors against Organized Crime, who are investigating the purchase of the Epasa Group (publishers of Panama America and Critica) allegedly with public funds and the bribes that Odebrecht paid in Panama.

Martinelli was notified of the investigatory proceedings on  Wednesday, July 1, and former President Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019), was summoned by the Odebrecht Special Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office.

Varela and Martinelli are summoned to appear on Thursday at 9:00 am, in different offices

For the New Business (Epasa) case, the Public Ministry sent the United States a request for an exception to the specialty rule outlined  in the bilateral extradition treaty of 1904 , to evaluate whether authorization was granted to investigate  Martinelli.

The US State Department has already said that Panama does not need an endorsement to prosecute Martinelli, since it would no longer apply the specialty principle, given that the former president has been allowed to travel outside of Panama since September 15, 2019.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/two-former-presidents-called-to-face-corruption-probes

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Biggest businessman in country” boasts Martinelli facing crime probe

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Posted 02/07/2020

Former  Panama president  Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014)  remained defiant claiming to be the country’s biggest businessman when he arrived at the office of the Second Special Prosecutor' against Organized Crime, to face an investigation into alleged money laundering . in the case known as New Business, involving the purchase of the Epasa Group  (Publishers of Panama America and Critica allegedly with public funds.

Martinelli arrived at the office, in the Avesa building, on Via España, at 8:40 am, accompanied by a team of lawyers, bodyguards, and a spokesman reiterating the long-established “political persecution” mantra.

 He claimed the application of the specialty principle contained in the extradition treaty agreed in 1904 by the United States and Panama;, and accused prosecutors "of responding to former Attorney General Kenia Porcell," who resigned in December and was replaced by Eduardo Ulloa.

“I am the largest businessman in this country, the one who pays the most taxes. If the law, the Constitution and international treaties violate me, what won't they do to the rest of the investors? ” said Martinelli according to La Prensa.

Martinelli insists on the application of the specialty principle, despite the fact that the United States - through its embassy in Panama and the US State Department - has indicated that this principle is no longer in force because the former president has traveled outside of Panama since September of 2019.

Leaving the country is one of the exceptions to the specialty principle, as stated in the 1904 bilateral treaty.

The specialty principle implies that Martinelli could not be prosecuted for cases other than the one for which he was extradited by the United States, in June 2018: that of illegal wiretapping of political opponents, journalists and lawyers, .In this case, in August 2019, a court declared him “not guilty”, a decision that that is under appeal.

Ronier Ortiz, one of Martinelli's lawyers, sent  a written " warning " to the prosecutor against Organized Crime, in which he maintains that his client "has not renounced his principle of specialty."

On  Thursday, Martinelli told reporters that he will succeed in the New Business case, as he said - with the one involving the punctures, because they are "mounted" investigations.

Since December 2019, the United States has reported that Panama is free to prosecute and try Martinelli for other cases and there are at least six others waiting in the wings.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/biggest-businessman-in-country-boasts-martinelli-facing-crime-probe-1

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Martinelli under country arrest replays health card

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Posted 02/07/2020

Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli cannot leave Panama without judicial authorization and must report on the 15th of each month. The order was issued by the Second Prosecutor against Organized Crime when Martinelli opted to not answer questions about the purchase of the Epasa [publishing] Group allegedly with public funds.

The precautionary measure was issued on  Thursday, July 2, by, Emeldo Márquez, who summoned him to face  an investigation for alleged money laundering, in the case known as New Business.

Martinelli availed himself of article 25 of the Constitution -which indicates that no one is obliged to testify against himself-.

 He claimed the application of the specialty principle contained in the extradition treaty signed in 1904 by the United States and Panama, and showed a certificate issued by cardiologist Gabriel Frago, stating that he is incapacitated from July 1 to 3. 

On July 3, Martinelli has another investigation, with the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office investigating the bribes paid by Odebrecht in Panama. 

Former President  Juan Carlos Varela has also been called by the Odebrecht prosecutor. 

Dr. Frago previously  treated Martinelli as a private doctor, when he was detained in El Renacer prison, after being extradited from  the United States, where he was detained for a year. 

Health challenges
On several occasions, Frago certified that his client suffered from coronary heart disease, chronic high blood pressure, sleep apnea, glaucoma and depression, among other conditions. Frago gave testimony, under oath, in the hearings before magistrate Jerónimo Mejía, who served as judge of guarantees of the wiretap case, when the jurisdiction was held by the Supreme Court of Justice.

Roniel Ortiz , Martinelli's lawyer, reported that "there is no further summons", given that his client is incapacitated by Frago. Asked by journalists whether that means he won't appear for the Odebrecht bribery probe on Friday, Ortiz responded angrily reports TVN:

"How is he going to come, if he is disabled?" Ortiz said that invoking Article 25 of the Constitution "is the strategy that we are going to use." And said that with the prosecutor Márquez, "there was no question of any kind."

Martinelli also repeated his mantra of "political persecution", and accused prosecutors "of responding to Kenia Porcell," who last December resigned as Attorney General and was replaced by Eduardo Ulloa.

"All this happened because I hijacked the current accounts of Kenia Porcell," he told reporters.

“I am the largest businessman in this country, the one who pays the most taxes. If the law, the Constitution and international treaties violate me , what won't they do to the rest of the investors? ”he said

Martinelli  blames Porcell, "who still has his tentacles here", and Juan Carlos Varela, "who still rules in this Public Ministry." 

Asked to explain, then, how it was possible that Varela -if he still had command  was at that time under  investigation, Martinelli avoided the questions and said- the  case had the purpose of "closing" the Epasa Group, which publishes newspaper El Panamá América, "the only independent media that tells the truth."

“This is all a political hoax on the part of Juan Carlos Varela and Kenia Porcell! They are the ones who rule in this Public Ministry! ”, He said when he left the place.

Martinelli insists on the application of the specialty principle, despite the fact that the United States - through its embassy in Panama and the US State Department - has indicated that this principle is no longer in force because the former president has traveled outside of Panama since September of 2019. Leaving the country is one of the exceptions to the specialty principle, as stated in the 1904 bilateral treaty.

The specialty principle implies that Martinelli could not be prosecuted for cases other than the one for which he was extradited by the United States, in June 2018: illegal wiretaps.. In August 2019, a court declared him “not guilty”, a verdict sentence that is under appeal.

Since December 2019, the United States has reported that Panama is free to prosecute and try Martinelli for other cases.

In the New Business case, the prosecution investigates about 40 people for alleged of money laundering in the transactions for the purchase of Epasa.

The New Business company served as a “basket” to accumulate at least $43.9 million, which was used to acquire the publisher in 2010, when Martinelli was president.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-under-country-arrest-replays-health-card

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