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US formalizes extradition requests for Martinelli sons

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Posted 04/09/2020

The United States has formalized requests to extradite Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares from Guatemala  Both accused in a court in New York for the alleged money laundering and conspiracy to launder money.

If convicted they could face up The Martinelli Linares would face up to 50 years in prison in the United States

This weekend the two sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli will have completed two months in detention in a military prison in Guatemala, at the request of the United States.

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The brothers were arrested in Guatemala on July 6, when they tried to board a private plane that would bring them to Panama, where for years they have been required for an investigation, in two investigations for the payment of bribes: Odebrecht and Blue Apple reports La Prensa.

On July 24, the Guatemala Fifth Criminal Sentencing Court ordered the beginning of the process of his extradition to the United States of Luis Enrique. The US authorities were then given 40 days to submit the formal extradition request and the supporting documents.

Ricardo Alberto's case is handled by the Third Criminal Sentencing Court.

According to an accusation presented by the FBI - Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique would have participated as “intermediaries” in the receipt and payment of bribes for $ 28 million, “under the direction of Odebrecht ”.

The payments - as stated in the sealed indictment that is in a New York court - would have benefited a Panamanian official, whose name has not been noted in the documents released so far is described as “an official with a very high position in the government of Panama a … close relative” of the two defendants” between 2009 and 2014, a period that corresponds to the presidential mandate of  Ricardo Martinelli.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/us-formalizes-extradition-requests-for-martinelli-sons

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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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Ex-president Martinelli moves to muzzle media coverage

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Posted 06/09/2020

Former President Ricardo Martinelli owner of his own media conglomerate and facing along with his son multiple criminal investigations has requested "protection and restraining measures" to prevent various media from reporting on him, his family members, and judicial proceedings.

He filed a  complaint  Saturday night, September 5, at the Metropolitan Prosecutor's Office against Mauricio Valenzuela, of the digital site Foco Panamá, for the alleged commission of crimes against the right to privacy, against freedom, and against economic assets, to the detriment of the former president.

“I request protection and removal measures, and that neither I nor my family can be referred to on social networks such as TVN, La Prensa, Mi Diario and Radio Panamá, which although they are not owned by him, he uses as if they were his, and that he is not near my house or my office and less of me, "says Martinelli in his testimony before the prosecution.

The deputy prosecutor Estelabel Batista Franco considered it appropriate to "adopt without delay" the request of the complainant and sent a letter to the National Police of the San Francisco area to provide "special protection" to Martinelli, who as former president already has bodyguards from the Institutional Protection Service (SPI).

Valenzuela accuses the agents and Martinelli of having attacked him when he was filming them leaving a  La Morena restaurant, in Vista Hermosa, late in the afternoon on Saturday, September 5.

It is not the first time that the Martinelli family has tried to hinder the work of the media reports La Prensa.

The former first lady of the Republic Marta Linares de Martinelli filed a lawsuit for family protection against La Prensa. On June 22,  which was rejected by Judge Alba Flores Musmanno.

This claim was based on publications of La Prensa, in which part of the criminal investigations carried out by the authorities of the Public Ministry regarding the alleged relationship of the brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares -  with the payment of bribes by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

The brothers have been detained in Guatemala since last July 6, waiting to be extradited to the United States, which accuses them in a New York federal court. of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money,

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-president-martinelli-moves-to-muzzle-media-coverage

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Fiscal otorga medida de protección especial a Martinelli por seis meses

Eliana Morales Gil
07 sep 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/fiscal-otorga-medida-de-proteccion-especial-a-martinelli-por-seis-meses/

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“Incapacitated” Martinelli sounds off on corruption probe

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Posted 10/09/2020

Former President Ricardo Martinelli has twice presented medical certificates -one for 60 days-  to avoid questioning by prosecutors investigating the Odebrecht bribery scandal while he was in office and on a third-occasion accepted Article 25 of the Constitution, which exempts him from testifying against himself.

While hiding behind his incapacities he has been active in presenting denunciations against others pursuing the formation of a new political party, meeting with supporters and lawyers, and visiting the Electoral Tribunal. where on Thursday he took time to rail against prosecutors and told waiting for journalists he has asked the Public Ministry to summon "all the people" linked to the  Odebrechtbribery file, "so that Panamanians know the whole truth." Martinelli has also challenged the prosecutor  and Tania Sterling claimed that she cannot investigate because - according to him - it is prevented by the principle of specialty contemplated in the extradition treaty agreed between Panama and the United States. (The US State Department and the US Embassy in Panama have said that the specialty principle no longer applies to Martinelli.)

The former president has also filed two criminal complaints against Sterling claiming $10 million in damages; a complaint to the Attorney General Eduardo Ulloa, and a warning of unconstitutionality against her actions.

Martinelli also insists that his sons Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares were coming to Panama "to cooperate with the justice system" when they were arrested at the La Aurora airport in Guatemala, at the request of the United States, to face charges of alleged money laundering.

"My children came without any impediment to come to Panama, to cooperate with justice in a case invented, fabricated, by [forme attorney General] Kenia Porcell, and [ex-president] Juan Carlos Varela,

The Martinelli Linares brothers have remained outside of Panama for at least the last five years, and before their arrest, ignored summonses to be investigated in the Odebrecht and Blue Apple cases.

Martinelli said s that the extradition process of his children "has not even begun", although the United States has already formalized its extradition requests and the reasons that support them. Meanwhile, they remain in a military prison.

According to the FBI would have participated as “intermediaries” in the receipt and payment of bribes for $28 million from Odebrecht.

The payments - as stated in the sealed indictment that is in a New York court - would have benefited a Panamanian official who was a  close relative, with a very high position in the government of Panama" between 2009 and 2014 when Martinell ruled/,

Although they have never answered the questions of the prosecution, Martinelli insists: "we want to get to the bottom ... to know what happened."

“I urge the prosecutors and the Office of the Attorney General to end this case, and put all the people, especially the Panamanistas, who have not come to testify, there are even other Democratic Change who have not come to testify and must include them so that Panamanians let us know the whole truth and not just a part of the truth, which was the one manufactured by Kenia Porcell and Juan Carlos Varela ”, he said

Varela (2014-2019) attended the investigation of the Odebrecht case, in July.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/incapacitated-martinelli-sounds-off-on-corruption-probe

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Martinelli criminal case stymied by defense moves

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prosecutor Emeldo Márquez

Posted 17/09/2020

The Special Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime, headed by prosecutor Emeldo Márquez, has his hands tied  in the “New Business” case centered around    ex-president Ricardo Martinelli

This is due to the fact that Márquez was challenged by the defense of the former president, invoking, among other things, the principle of specialty established in the 1904 extradition treaty, concluded between Panama and the United States reports La Prensa.

However, this appeal has not yet been resolved by the Third Criminal Settlement Court, headed by Baloisa Marquínez.  

Ronier Ortiz, Martinelli's lawyer, said that the legal action was filed "several weeks ago," and he has no news about its status in court.

According to the Public Ministry, the prosecution has until the end of October to continue gathering evidence in the case in which some 40 people are charged with alleged money laundering in transactions with supposed public money for the acquisition of Grupo Editoral Panamá América SA.

 According to the prosecution, 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.

Prosecutor Márquez has already made his position known regarding the principle of specialty. It stated, among other things, that the Public Ministry has a constitutional and legal obligation to prosecute crimes, for which it must carry out summary proceedings that are relevant and useful to prove the existence of the punishable act.

Several of the money transfers were made from foreign jurisdictions. He also highlighted that the file "handles a large number of linked persons."

Martinelli was charged with the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering and has the precautionary measure preventing him from leaving the country, and the duty to notify himself every 15 days. But he has not testified in the case. On July 2, the day on which he had to answer to the prosecutor, he used article 25 of the Constitution and brought out the principle of specialty. Then he presented disabilities and recused the prosecutor.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/martinelli-criminal-case-stymied-by-defense-moves

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Martinelli  faces $96 million laundering and corruption complaint

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Ricardo Marinelli

Posted 06/10/2020

The Baltasar Garzón Foundation (Fibgar) has presented, in the National Court of Spain, a complaint against former president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), for alleged money laundering and corruption in international economic transactions, reports the  Europa Press news agency.

Fibgar also requests to adhere to the existing accusations in which the multinational Fomento de Construcciones y Constratas (FCC) and some workers and former directors of its subsidiaries FCC Construcción Centroamérica and Construcciones Hospitalarias are being investigated the latter the contractor of the City of Health, in Ancón. According to Europa Press , there are  14  defendants

The  indictment indicates that the person responsible for the Legal Department of FCC Co. declared  before a prosecutor's office on July 3, “that the documents attached to the complaint had served as formal cover for the outflow of funds from the company to Mauricio Cort as the frontman for [Ricardo] Martinelli, former president of Panama for the payment of commissions demanded by the latter to allow FCC to operate in Panama ... "

“All of them would have participated, according to [the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office], in a consortium with the multinational Odebrecht that, according to the accusation, generated over-charges in the steel supply contracts, worth 82 million euros [$96.7 million], in the construction projects of Metro lines and the City of Health in Panama, among others, ”the agency says.

While in Panama, in just one of the five projects investigated, cost overruns have been detected that exceed $40 million, not including bribes for its award.

 In Panama, the Public Ministry is investigating alleged embezzlement, corruption, and money laundering, in five state projects: the City of Health the Metro lines, and the road reorganization in Vía Brasil, the expansion from Domingo Díaz avenue and the renovation of Casco Viejo.

Upon learning of Fibgar's actions before the Spanish National Court, Martinelli directed his darts at former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón reports La Prensa.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/martinelli-faces-96-million-laundering-and-corruption-complaint-1

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Court rejects ex-first lady's media muzzle attempt

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Posted 12/10/2020

Former first lady Marta Linares de Martinelli failed in her attempts to censor the newspaper La Prensa and failed to get the courts to prohibit the publication of criminal investigations and images of her family, including in particular her sons Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares.

On September 23, the Superior Family Court issued a ruling in which it rejected the claim for family protection filed by the former first lady against La Prensa . The claim had already been denied by a lower court - the Second Sectional Family Court of the First Judicial Circuit - on June 16.

The Court's ruling confirms the decision adopted four months ago by the court, led by Judge Alba Flores Musmanno, who considered that the information in this newspaper was of public interest and had no relation to the intimate or private life of anyone.

Linares de Martinelli based her claim on publications in La Prensa that reported the progress of the criminal investigation for the bribes that the construction company Odebrecht had paid to Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares The two have been imprisoned in Guatemala since July 6, in response to a request from the United States, which requires them in extradition for alleged money laundering and conspiracy to launder money linked to Odebrecht.

The former first lady appealed to article 577 of the Family Code , which states that everyone has exclusive rights to their own image, which may not be publicly reproduced, in any way, without their consent. However, the same article cited by her says that "images that are disseminated for news purposes, of public or cultural interest, based on respect for human dignity are excepted from the above . "

For the Court, this aspect is decisive. “The person enjoys the protection of his image as a matter of principle, but once the State proceeds to a criminal investigation against him, it makes the rest of the associates, either individually or corporately, make judgments regarding the circumstances of the case, since they also have in their favor the right to freedom of thought and expression ” , concluded justices José Agustín Delgado Pérez, Aracelli Quiñones Bruno and Nelly Cedeño de Paredes.

At one point, the former first lady alleged that her children are citizens "who have neither held nor do they exercise public functions." This approach clashes with the defense of the two brothers in Guatemala, which insists that the detention of both is illegal since they are diplomats and substitute deputies of Parlacen (although they have not been sworn in or held such positions).

In this regard, the magistrates said that "it is not a question of whether or not the person exercises public functions, but rather by the impact and occurrence of the events in society, which provokes and promotes public opinion."

 "If the fact under discussion becomes news for reasons of public or cultural interest, the protection of one's image is attenuated, prevailing freedom of expression," added the Court, which cited jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Rights Humans.

This point of view was shared by the Public Ministry, which had asked the Court to confirm the judgment of Judge Flores Musmanno, considering that the Martinelli brothers maintain a public profile, "both national and international," especially because they are related to processes that must be reported to the community in general.

The magistrates sais that “trying to restrict the newspaper La Prensa under the matter of family is not legal, since it is not an affectation or damage that should remain in the most intimate of the private sphere of the interested party and it should not be the object of public knowledge… since there is a criminal process underway.

"We consider that the case facing the plaintiff is not only local but international."

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/court-rejects-ex-first-ladys-media-muzzle-attempt

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Guatemala rejects Martinelli son's appeal against extradition to US

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Trap closing on Martinelli brothers

Posted 28/10/2020

The Guatemalan justice system denied appeals filed by Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares' lawyer, seeking to prevent him from being extradited to the United  States, to face trial for conspiracy to commit crimes related to the Odebrecht scandal.

The Second Chamber of the Guatemala Court of Appeals has denied the protection of guarantees that Martinelli Linares filed against the third judge of the Guatemalan criminal sentence, in charge of handling the request for extradition received from the United States.

The lawyer filed an appeal against the ruling.

For now, it has not been possible to establish a hearing date to review the extradition request of the United States against Ricardo Alberto and his brother Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares because both have presented a series of appeals, many of which, according to the Public Ministry of Guatemala are inappropriate reports TVN

The  brothers were arrested last July in Guatemala as they were boarding  a private plane

In the appeal, the alleged violation of Martinelli Linares' rights was alleged and that his detention was illegal, given his status as a "diplomat" and alternate deputy of Parlacen, despite the fact that he was never sworn in and has never held that position.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/guatemala-rejects-martinelli-son039s-appeal-against-extradition-to-us-1

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The Martinelli dance halted

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Posted 21/11/2020

The decision to call former President Ricardo Martinelli to a new trial in the case of the "punctures" - including a new court - is a hopeful light, thanks to a ruling issued yesterday by the Superior Court of Appeals. The magistrates have bravely faced the judicial outburst of first instance, in order to correct the obvious errors of some judges who, far from doing justice, what they did was an act of complacency, in the least of the cases. One only has to remember all the evidence and key witnesses of the accusers who were rejected by judges Roberto Tejeira, Arlene Caballero and Raúl Vergara, authors of that questioned ruling that declared the accused not guilty. And this time, we hope that the trial is not the shameful spectacle that was staged before and after the process was transferred to ordinary justice. Part of that circus included - as we all know - the defendant's peripatetic visits to the emergency rooms, medical certificates and all those maneuvers that impeded the flow of the process. The whole country is witness to the remarkable good health of the great dancer that Mr. Ricardo Martinelli has proven to be. .LA  PRENSA, NOV.21

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/the-martinelli-dance-halted

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Ex-president Martnelli for retrial

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Posted 21/11/2020

The Superior Court of Appeals of the First Judicial District has annulled, the “not guilty “ ruling handed down to former president Ricardo Martinelli accused of illegal interception of communications in the second and third year of his mandate. 

Two of the magistrates, Donaji Arosemena and Yiles Pittí, accepted an appeal for annulment promoted by the Public Ministry, in which a new trial for Martinelli was requested. The other magistrate, Diego Fernández, saved his vote. 

Now a new trial will be required, with new judges, to establish responsibilities for the alleged commission of two crimes: the inviolability of secrecy (interception of communications without judicial authorization) and violation of the right to privacy (illegal monitoring and prosecution). 

The reading of the sentence took place after 5:00 pm this Friday, two hours after starting the virtual hearing, held at the offices of the First Judicial District of Panama, located in Plaza Ágora.

It is unknown when the new trial will take place, except that the three judges from the previous process will not act there.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-president-martnelli-for-retrial

 

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Prosecution will request precautionary measure for Martinelli

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Posted 22/11/2020

After the ruling of the Superior Court of Appeals that annulled the sentence that declared former president Ricardo Martinelli not guilty of illegal wiretapping lawyers for the complainant victims will ask to apply precautionary measures to the former president, to guarantee his appearance at the new trial.

David Cuevas, the lawyer for Rosendo Rivera, Rubén Polanco, and Juan Carlos Navarro, said that after the ruling made known last Friday, the plaintiffs in this process have reached a consensus to request a precautionary measure against Martinelli, to prevent him from evading the new trial

Lawyer Carlos Herrera, Mauro Zúñiga's lawyer, also agreed on the need to request a hearing to apply a precautionary measure to Martinelli.

Meanwhile, Ricaurte González, who acted as prosecutor, said he was satisfied with the decision taken by the Superior Court of Appeals.  was also in favor of discussing whether a precautionary measure is possible for the accused.

Martinelli was detained in preventive custody for a year in El Renacer, until June 12, 2019. He was then imposed house arrest, lifted on August 9, 2019.

Before that, he spent a year in prison in Miami, awaiting extradition.

The cause invoked by the Court of Appeals of to annul the decision to declare former President Ricardo Martinelli “not guilty” is supported by the third point of article 172, of the Criminal Procedure Code: in the pronouncement of the sentence of the August 9, an "erroneous application of the law" was made, which substantially influenced the ruling.

Although Ronniel Ortiz, from Martinelli's legal team, indicated that they will use all available legal resources, other lawyers consider that there is no room for appeals against the decision of the Court of Appeals, and what follows now is to set the date of the new trial.

Former judge Raúl Olmos believes that the most that the defense could aspire to appease the court's decision is to request a clarification of the sentence or present constitutional guarantee protection before the Supreme Court, alleging the violation of any right.

But first, the Judicial Office of the Accusatory Criminal System (SPA) is required to notify the parties and set a date for the new trial.

However, the SPA has already shown few signs of speed in this regard. In the list of hearings, dates have been set up to 2022, even 2024. This fact, according to Olmos, indicates that there would be no short-term date.

It is for this reason that Carlos Herrera Morán, the lawyer for Mauro Zúñiga, one of the victims of the punctures, argued that the Judicial Organ must take the necessary precautions to prevent delays that lead to impunity in such an important case. Up to 150 people were affected by the interceptions carried out by the National Security Council (CSN), in the last two years of the Martinelli government.

Herrera Morán described the ruling of the Superior Court of Appeals as historic since it showed that judges Roberto Tejeira, Arlene Caballero and Raúl Vergara made a poor assessment of the evidence endorsed by Jerónimo Mejía, when he served as a magistrate judge of guarantees, from 2015 to 2018.

According to Herrera Morán, the recent ruling reveals that in the administration of justice there is a group of judges who adhere to the Constitution and the law, and another “genuflexer”, who moves away from independence.

Herrera Morán requested the audio allegedly with the voice of the former president, which circulates on social networks, be investigated, in which it is ensured that the Court of Appeals changed its decision hours before the order to call a new trial was made public. This will be done with three new judges who will be selected by the SPA Judicial Office, through a lottery.

The prosecutor in the Ricaurte González case assured that now everything returns to the beginning and the interrogations made in the 2019 trial must be practiced again.

González, although he is assigned to the Intellectual Property Prosecutor's Office, acts as a prosecutor for this case, which he advanced when he was in charge of the Second Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime.

According to Ortiz, the process against the ex-president has a political origin and "as well as the manipulation of evidence during the first trial, they will do it the second time." He alleges that the protected witness was manipulated and trusts that all this will be weighed up by the new judges.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/prosecution-will-request-precautionary-measure-for-martinelli-1

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Lawyers ask early date for Martinelli retrial

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Posted 04/12/2020

Lawyers for the victims in the process followed by former President  Ricardo MARTINELLI presented  Friday, December 4, a request to the Judicial Office soon the First Judicial District so that the new trial ordered by the. Superior of Appeals on November 20.Court be set as soon as possible,

The note signed by lawyer David Cuevas on behalf of Juan Carlos Navarro, Rosendo Rivera, and Rubén Polanco asked the Judicial Office, that given the public statements of the ex-president about a possible delay in the realization of a new trial and a possible prescription of the criminal action, it is necessary to set a trial date as soon as possible.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/lawyers-ask-early-date-for-martinelli-retrial-1

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Martinelli trial set for June next year

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Posted 22/12/2020

The retrial of former President Ricardo Martinelli for the alleged crimes of telecommunications interception, monitoring, persecution and surveillance without judicial authorization has been set for June 22, 2021.

It follows a November 20, Appeals Court  ruling  that annulled the August 2019 sentence that declared him "not guilty."

His defense said it will go to the streets.

The Judicial Organ annouced through Mondae that the oral trial will begin on June 22, 2021 at 9:00 am, in Room 1 of the Office of the First Judicial District of Panama. It did not specify who are the three judges who will make up the trial court.

On November 20, an appeals court annulled the "not guilty" sentence handed down in favor of Martinelli and ordered a new trial with the same evidence validated by the then magistrate judge of guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, in the intermediate stage of the process, developed in the Supreme Court.

Among the arguments given by justices Donaji Arosemena and Yiles Pittí to annul the August 2019 sentence are,  that the Trial Court made up of justices Roberto Tejeira, Arlene Caballero and Raúl Vergara made several errors of assessment. For example, it did not exercise its disciplinary power by allowing the defense to interrupt witnesses and present incidents and allegations in the middle of the taking of evidence.

Alfredo Vallarino, from the team of lawyers of the former president, said on Twitter that " and that they will go to the streets.

“This time they are going to find us in the courts and on the street. Here, starting in January, we will mobilize so that Magistrates hear a clear message that is in the Constitution. No one can be tried more than once for the same cause, ”he tweeted.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-trial-set-for-june-next-year-1

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Martinelli faces new trial,sons await extradition

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The Martinelli offspring in a Guatemala prison

Posted 23/12/2020

On the day Panama announced the date of the re-trial of former president Ricardo Martinelli on charges of illegal interception of communications  the United States  Charge D’Affaires in Panama, Stewart Tuttle,    appeared on Radio Panama    to express the hope that   Guatemala will complete the extradition of his sons  Ricardo Alberto  and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares

Both are accused in a New York court for the alleged money laundering and conspiracy to launder money, as part of the bribes from Odebrecht.

There is still no date for the delivery to the United States of both Panamanians, who have been detained in Guatemala for five months.  in the Mariscal Zavala military prison.

“I don't want to go to the bottom and cloud a process that is underway. But we do have an extradition treaty with Guatemala and we expect it to be fulfilled in this case, and it is important to reiterate that we take very seriously when people take advantage of our financial system to launder money, ”said  Tuttle.

“The stability of the dollarized economy, which greatly benefits Panama and the Panamanian people, depends on trust in the system, and money laundering basically upsets that trust. So when people try to take advantage of our financial system in that way, it should come as no surprise that they have to face the US judicial system, ”added Tuttle.

The children of the former President were captured in Guatemala on July 6, when they tried to board a private plane that would bring them to Panama. Three days earlier the United States had sent the request for a provisional arrest to the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry, for extradition purposes. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expeditiously, forwarded the request to the Public Ministry of Guatemala the same day, "the entity that is in charge of filing the indicated requirements before the Jurisdictional Body."

According to an accusation filed by the FBI -with whose agents the brothers held meetings on several occasions and in person-, Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique had participated as “intermediaries” in the receipt and payment of bribes for $ 28 million, “under the direction of Odebrecht.

The payments - as stated in the sealed indictment that is in a New York court, by order of a judge - would have benefited a Panamanian official, whose name has not been noted in the documents released so far. However, this official is described as “an official with a very high position in the government of Panama” between 2009 and 2014, a period that corresponds to the presidential mandate of Martinelli, and, in addition, a “close relative” of the two defendants.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-faces-new-trialsons-await-extradition

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Pandemic delays Martinelli sons' extradition hearings

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Posted 31/12/2020

Everything was ready for the fugitive sons of former president Ricardo Martinelli. Even a private plane was waiting to take them to Panama from La Aurora airport in Guatemala. Just at the crucial moment, the Guatemalan authorities at the request of the United States arrested, them.

A New York court wants both to answer for bribes paid over several years by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, through the US financial system reports La Prensa.

According to two affidavits presented to federal judge Robert M. Levy of the Eastern District of New York, the Martinelli Linares brothers are being investigated for their alleged participation in a complex scheme considered in the United States as money laundering and conspiracy to launder, by a amount of $ 28 million, "under the direction of Odebrecht."

Although the indictment is sealed by order of the judge, the assistant prosecutor Julia Nestor explained in an affidavit that the accusations against Luis Enrique were: one charge of conspiracy to carry out money laundering; two charges of concealing the proceeds of money laundering, resulting from a bribe to "a senior official of the Panamanian government," and another two charges for using funds from money laundering, derived from a bribe to the same official.

While Ricardo Alberto faces: one charge for conspiracy to launder money and two charges for concealing the proceeds of money laundering derived from a bribe to a senior official of the Panamanian government.

Although the name of that "very high" official is not released, it is specified that he is a "close relative" of the two defendants and that the events investigated occurred between 2009 and 2014, a period that corresponds to the mandate of Ricardo Martinelli. The former president has said that his children came to Panama (after years safely in Florida and California) supposedly "to cooperate with justice" and that the whole process is an "invention."

A conviction for these crimes would imply up to 50 years in prison for Luis Enrique and up to 40 years for Ricardo Alberto, as stated in her sworn statement by the prosecutor Nestor.

The arrest

 The Martinelli Linares brothers were arrested on July 6, and their cases sent to different courts, Ricardo Alberto's case was referred to the Third Court of Criminal Sentencing, Drug Trafficking and Crimes against the Environment, and that of Luis Enrique, to the Fifth Court.

The Guatemalan justice system, like the Panamanian one, is hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. In Guatemala, for example, from March 13 to July 23 of this year, 79,709 hearings were suspended in the different jurisdictions, 67% correspond to the penal area. On July 10, Ricardo Alberto was taken to a hearing before the Third Court, which ended when defense attorney Denis Cuesy filed an Amparo against the members of the Court, who did not recognize the “diplomatic immunity” of his client as a deputy. substitute for the Central American Parliament (Parlacen). The First Chamber of the Court of Appeals of the Criminal Branch of Guatemala rejected attorney Cuesy's appeal on October 21, but he appealed to the Constitutional Court of Guatemala.

On July, 24 it was announced that the Fifth Court had started the extradition process to the United States of Enrique However, this process has been delayed both by the judicial resources presented by the defense and by the limitations of justice in the time of Covid-19.

Cuesy wants his clients to be recognized as Parlacen deputies, despite the fact that they have not been sworn in and have never held office.

When media versions suggested that Parlacen might be considering swearing in the two Panamanians in a special session at the Mariscal Zavala Michael Kozak, Acting Undersecretary of State for Human Affairs Western Hemisphere the United States, wrote on July 28, on his Twitter account: “Individuals within Parlacen would like to use membership as a shield to block the extradition to the United States of accused criminals. Doing so would damage the rule of law and promote impunity in the region ”. The message was immediately retweeted by the US embassies in Panama and Guatemala. Later, on August 6, in statements to Radio PanamaKozak stated that "any multilateral organization should avoid using the immunity provided to its members to give retroactive immunity to someone who has been accused."

On December 22, Stewart Tuttle, charge d'affaires of the embassy in Panama, said in an interview on Radio Panama that “… we have an extradition treaty with Guatemala and we have the expectation that it will be fulfilled in this case, and it is important reiterate that we take very seriously when people take advantage of our financial system to launder money ”.

Next chapter

Once the challenges and judicial resources on the issue of the presumed diplomatic immunity of Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique are cleared, then the cases would be referred back to the criminal sentencing courts where they began, so that the substantive discussion on the extradition to the United States. It would be useless to speculate on terms, since the scourges of the pandemic and the initiatives of judicial defense will dictate the speed with which this process will be defined, and that apparently, the United States government has a great interest in airing before its own Courts the fate of the children of a former Panamanian president and others, still undisclosed, who participated in one of the many dead ends of Odebrecht corruption. It is usual for the justice of Guatemala to accept the extradition permits requested by the United

 

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Guatemala court rejects son of Martinelli appeal

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The Martinelli brothers fighting extradition

Posted 04/01/2021

The First Chamber of the Court of Appeals of Guatemala has rejected a challenge presented by, Luis Enrique  Martinelli Linares  son of the former president Ricardo Martinelli , against the judges who must decide his extradition to the United States.

"This court considers that the arguments of the challenger do not fit within the causes invoked since at no time is it evidence that the actions of the judges within the extradition proceedings cast doubt on their impartiality and that they have expressed an opinion on the matter" , argued the court.

Luis Enrique and his brother Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares were arrested on July 6 the La Aurora airport, in the Guatemalan capital, when they tried to board a private plane bound for Panama. Since then, they have been detained in the Mariscal Zavala military prison, until their eventual extradition to the United States is defined, where they face charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder, in a New York court.

Although both brothers must respond to the same accusation (which remains sealed, by order of a judge), the extradition process of Ricardo Alberto is settled in the Third Court of Criminal Sentencing, Drug Trafficking and Crimes against the Environment, and that of Luis Enrique, in the Fifth Court.

Both have challenged the respective judges of the Third and Fifth courts. Both appeals have been denied by the appeal chambers.

Denis Cuesy, a lawyer for the Martinelli Linares, has repeatedly asked for the release of his clients, arguing that they are alternate deputies of Parlacen, although they were never sworn into office and have never served as such.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/guatemala-court-rejects-son-of-martinelli-appeal-1

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Ex-president Martinelli seeks to delay retrial

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Posted 12/01/2021

Ex-President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) is now trying to reverse the ruling of November 20, 2020, that annulled the trial in which he was found not guilty in 2019. The move is considered a stalling tactic to avoid a retrial

His defense presented before the Court protection of guarantees against the ruling of the Superior Court of Appeals. Lawyers for the victims of the wiretaps believed that it was a delaying tactic to prevent the new trial on June 22.

Constitutional guarantee protection that seeks to reverse the decision of the Superior Court of Appeals of last November 20, 2020, that reversed the ruling of a trial court that declared Martinelli not guilty of alleged illegal wiretapping ('punctures') was presented before the Supreme Court..

The appeal, promoted by Carlos Carrillo, of Martinelli's team of lawyers, on December 22, seeks to nullify the ruling endorsed by magistrates Donaji Arosemena and Yiles Pittí, which annulled the favorable ruling to Martinelli of August 2019 and ordered a second trial.

The Amparo, which is in the hands of Judge Maribel Cornejo, implies that the new trial of Martinelli, set for June 22, could not take place until the Court decides it.

The appeal argues that magistrates Arosemena and Pittí violated Martinelli's fundamental guarantees by entering to resolve substantive situations of the process and that they included in their decision situations that, according to this thesis, were not raised in the appeal for annulment presented by prosecutor Ricaurte Gonzalez.

It also points out that in the annulment appeal the crimes for which Martinelli should have been convicted were never specified. In addition, he only referred to the fact that the evidence presented was not evaluated by the trial court.

Meanwhile, Carlos Herrera Morán, the lawyer for Balbina Herrera and Mauro Zúñiga, argued that the Amparo is a strategy so that the new trial of Martinelli is not held on the scheduled date.

Meanwhile, David Cuevas, Rosendo Rivera's lawyer, said he did not know the content of the appeal, but also considered that it was a delaying strategy

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-president-martinelli-seeks-to-delay-retrial-1

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Martinelli sons notified of Blue Apple hearing

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Posted 29/01/2021

The Third Criminal Liquidation Court, has, notified the brothers Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli, accused of  money laundering in the Blue Apple case, of the preliminary hearing on April 19 to May 28.

A, statement from the Judicial Branch issued on the afternoon of Friday, January 29, specifies that the Third Court for Criminal Proceedings received on January 27 the answer of assistance to comply with the notification process to two defendants in the Blue Apple case. found in Guatemala.

According to the note, the judicial assistance was sent to the Guatemalan authorities on October 29, 2020, consisting of the notification and summons to the process.

The statement specifies that according to article 2219 of the Judicial Code , during the preliminary hearing, the legal merit of the summary will be assessed, that is, it will be determined whether the requirements to proceed or not with the call for trial requested by the prosecution.

The brothers Ricado Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli have been detained in Guatemala since July 2020, following an extradition request by the United States Department of Justice.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/martinelli-sons-notified-of-blue-apple-hearing

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US reveals indictments of sons of former Panama president

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Posted 05/02/2021

Seven months after their arrest in Guatemala, the United States disclosed the indictment against Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares sons of the former president of Panama,Ricardo Martinelli.

 Both face h of three charges: one, for allegedly conspiring to launder money, and two, for hiding information on money laundering.

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

The five-page indictment was known this Friday, February 5, but it was delivered the day before to the office of Judge Raymond J. Dearie, of the Eastern District Court of New York, where the case has been sitting  since last July. Dearie took over the case last Thursday, replacing Judge Diane Gujarati.

Just for the crime of conspiracy to launder money, the penalty would be up to 20 years in prison. For the crime of hiding information, the maximum penalty is also 20 years in prison. The indictment warns that the assets linked to the charges are subject to confiscation if eventually the accused are convicted.

The indictment had remained sealed until now, but the charges that are detailed are supported by information that had already been released by the FBI special agent, Michael Lewandowski, who on several occasions met, in person, with the Martinelli Linares, before the brothers were captured in Guatemala, on July 6, following a request for extradition from the United States. The document was presented by Lewandowski to the Court on June 27, a week before their arrest.

The brothers are in a military prison in Guatemala, waiting for their surrender to the United States to be resolved.

The formal accusation against Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique is based on facts allegedly committed between August 2009 and September 2015, largely coinciding with the presidential mandate of their father, Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal (2009-2014), and includes at least four suspicious transactions.

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

Two transactions are detailed, on November 12 and December 10, 2013, for $899,978.32 and $30,887.21, respectively, from a financial institution located in Switzerland to a bank in New York and, again, to a Swiss bank.

The accusation also mentions two transfers, linked to Luis Enrique: one, on February 11, 2013, for $346,500, and another, on August 26, 2015, for approximately $570, 000, both made from a Swiss bank to a bank in New  York, and from there - finally - to accounts in New Jersey and Florida, respectively.

The property transaction records indicate that the $570,000 transferred correspond to the payment of an apartment in Miami, Florida, in the name of a company, for the benefit of Luis Enrique. That apartment, on Brickell Avenue, would be confiscated if convicted.

Deputy Prosecutor Julia Nestor informed the Court that she estimates that the trial could last less than six weeks reports La Prensa.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/us-reveals-indictments-of-sons-of-former-panama-president

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Court admits claim against ex-president Martinelli

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Ricardo Martinelli

Posted 10/02/2021

The Seventeenth Civil Court has admitted a $50,000  claim for compensation for damages filed against former President Ricardo Martinelli by lawyer Rosendo Rivera The substitute judge Evelin Rosas concluded that the lawsuit complies with the formalities of the law, granted Martinelli a term of 10 days to answer and warned the former president that failure to do so will be taken as an indication against him.

The lawsuit was filed by attorney David Cuevas, representing Rivera, after the Public Ministry dismissed a complaint filed by Martinelli against Rivera for the alleged commission of crimes against honor.

Cuevas' legal action maintains that Martinelli's complaint against his client, filed on June 7, 2019, was reckless and in bad faith.

In addition, the document highlights that the Prosecutor's Office of the Early Decision and Litigation Section of the Public Ministry closed the process (February 2020) considering that the facts alleged by Martinelli did not constitute a crime.

Cuevas alleged that the Public Ministry also argued that Martinelli acted with “recklessness, bad faith and abuse of the right to litigation since the objective of his action was to intimidate and cause damage to Rivera” , which, in Cuevas's opinion, caused Rivera damages of a moral, psychological and material nature.

The legal battle arises reports La Prensa as a result of the process followed by Martinelli for illegal wiretapping, in which Rivera appears as a victim.

The former President must appear for a second trial in the case on June 22, after the Court of Appeals annulled a first trial in which he was found not guilty.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/court-admits-claim-against-ex-president-martinelli

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Court rejects  appeal of ex-president’s son

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Posted 15/02/2021

The Constitutional Court of Guatemala has rejected constitutional guarantee protection with which Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares detained in Guatemala since last July 6, intended to change the three judges who must decide his eventual extradition to the United States.

The Constitutional Court confirmed a decision adopted last year by the First Chamber of the Court of Appeals.

The court specified that Denis Cuesy, Martinelli Linares' lawyer, must pay a fine for each of the appeals filed so far, routinely applied when the Court considers that unsupported appeals have been filed.

Martinelli Linares insists on the alleged violation of his rights as an alternate deputy of Parlacen.  Despite the fact that he was never sworn in and has never held that position. In documents presented to the courts, he uses the title "parliamentarian." Part of the claim is that the judges of the Third Court of Criminal Sentencing, Drug Trafficking, and Crimes against the Environment (who must decide on their eventual delivery to the United States) did not grant him the 15d ays requested by the defense, to gather the evidence in his favor.

Until now, the criteria of the courts is that the judges of the Third Court of Criminal Sentencing, Drug Trafficking and Financial Crimes have acted in the exercise of their powers and in accordance with the Regulatory Law of Extradition Procedure

Ricardo Alberto and his brother Luis Enrique, both sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, were arrested on July 6, 2020, at Guatemala's La Aurora airport, when they were trying to board a private plane to Panama. Since then, they remain in the jails of the Tower of Courts.

Luis Enrique is also requested for extradition, but his case is processed by a different court: the Fifth Criminal Sentence. Here  Cuesy presented another challenge. 

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/court-rejects-appeal-of-ex-presidents-son-1

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The privileged life of the Martinelli sons behind bars

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Posted 15/02/2021

Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares are part of a group of 250 inmates who enjoy all kinds of privileges in the Mariscal Zavala military prison, in Guatemala, where they have been detained since their capture, on July 6 awaiting Extradition to the United States to face money laundering charges which if proven could earn  them jail terms up to up  to 60 years  without the comfort reported  last week by the digital news site Relato

In an article headlined  “Sex, liquor, and privileges,” they explain the life of the Martinellis in the Guatemalan prison, in which they report the benefits enjoyed by Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique, given the good relationship that they allegedly maintain with Gustavo Alejos, private secretary in the presidency of Álvaro Colom.

The account describes Alejos as "the strong man of the prison" and the Martinelli Linares brothers would be his "protégés".

The website warns that, although the prison is far from being a luxury military base, there is a wing branded as the VIP prison, which houses the "criminal royalty" of the country. The two Panamanians are there, thanks to their closeness to Alejos. The children of former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal "cling tooth and nail to their new residence," where they would enjoy the same privileges as former Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina (accused of millionaire fraud against the State) and the rest of the "criminal royalty of Guatemala ”, according to the published note.

"Everything has a price and whoever can pay the most lives better ... For two foreigners like the Martinelli brothers, the cow is milked monthly," says Relato, adding that Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique would supposedly pay $50 thousand a month as "right floor ”.

In addition to this monthly payment, the money also circulates in payments to the guards, so that they can send them their "parcels": purchases in supermarkets, coolers, liquors, orders at Uber Eats, and all kinds of cravings and whims. "At the access gate, you can also see women stationed waiting to be admitted," says Relato.

The Martinelli Linares brothers are required in extradition by the United States, which accuses them of allegedly conspiring to launder money and conceal information on money laundering. Luis Enrique also faces charges for the alleged use of money obtained through money laundering.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/the-privileged-life-of-the-martinelli-sons-behind-bars

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Martinelli sons lose laundering appeal

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The brothers awaiting extradition from Guatemla to the United States

Posted 19/02/2021

The Second Superior Court confirmed a ruling of the Twelfth Criminal Court -and denied an appeal for annulment presented by the defense of the brothers Luis Enrique and Ricardo Martinelli Linares , as part of the process brought against them. the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering related to the bribes of Odebrecht.

Martinelli's defense requested that the process be declared void on the grounds that the prosecution had used, without permission from the Swiss authorities, information on companies and accounts registered in that country.

However, both the court and the Second Court rejected this allegation and decided not to accept the appeal for annulment.

The then Twelfth Criminal Court - in charge of Judge Óscar Carrasquilla - had rejected in October 2018 a first appeal that sought to annul the investigation, on the grounds that the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office - in charge of the investigations - had violated due process.

In the case, the Superior Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office charged 102 people and is in the final phase of preparing the tax hearing to send it to the Third Court for Settlement of  Criminal Cases  which must assess the evidence collected in 1,120 volumes that, among other inquiries, contain information on 12 judicial assistances.

On that occasion, the defense of the Martinelli Linares brothers argued that the decision of the prosecution violated the right to defense of their clients.

The Brothers Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares have been detained in a Guatemalan military prison since July 6, 2020, following an extradition request from the United States.

In a New York court, Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto are charged with three counts: one, for allegedly conspiring to launder money, and two more, for hiding information about money laundering. Luis Enrique also faces two charges for the alleged use of money obtained through money laundering.

In Panama, as part of the investigation, the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office requested 13 judicial assistance from Brazil, Switzerland, Andorra, Uruguay and Spain. These assistances contain information on the bribes paid by Odebrecht.

At the same time, the Supreme Court in 2016 managed legal assistance requested by the Swiss authorities on money deposits in Panama, allegedly connected with money laundering activities.

The exchange of information between the judicial authorities of both countries revealed a network of companies and funds deposits linked to Odebrecht, which allowed a plurality of people to join.

The investigations focused on companies from which sums of money were transferred from the payment of bribes from Odebrecht.

Currently, the prosecution is in the final phase of preparing the tax hearing, in which it has charged 102 people for the alleged commission of crimes against the public administration and money laundering.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-sons-lose-laundering-appeal

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Guatemala website cyber-attacked after report on Martinelli brothers

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Posted 22/02/2021

Reporters from the Guatemalan digital medium Relato ( relato.gt , which published on February 12 a report on the privileges that the brothers Ricardo and Luis Enrique Martinelli have in prison where they are awaiting extradition to the United States, denounced that they have been victims of cyber attacks reports La Prensa

Sources from Relato say they reported the events to the Public Ministry. They report that these are accounts based outside the country that try to discredit them for doing their work. At the close, the website of the medium relato.gt remained down, presumably after a cyber attack.

The Guatemalan website denounced attacks by "net centers" after on February 12 it published an investigation entitled "Liquors, sex and the best food in the VIP prison of Guatemala", in which they reference to the special treatment of inmates at the Mariscal Zavala military base, among whom are brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/guatemala-website-cyber-attacked-after-report-on-martinelli-brothers

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Former First Lady on seized plane

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Posted 27/02/2021

The former First Lady of Panama, Marta Linares de Martinelli. and her daughter-in-law were aboard the plane belonging to her husband ex-president Ricardo Martinelli when it was seized at a Guatemala airport on Friday at the request of the United States reports Radio Panama.

They were on their way to visit the two Martinelli sons in a military prison where they have been held since their arrest on July 6 last year awaiting extradition to the USA to face money laundering charges.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/former-first-lady-on-seized-plane

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