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José Ayú Prado, the Globe-Trotting Supreme Court President, Under Investigation for Various Charges and Denounced For Incompetence as a Prosecutor

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When judges flout the law

Posted on August 9, 2016 in Panama

Ayu Prado, Court's most traveled judge. led the appointment charge
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 OPINION: La Prensa Aug 9

THE FULL SUPREME Court agreed on July 27, to the appointment  without compettion  of more  than 900 staff who will be part of the accusatory penal system (SPA).

This means that the nine judges decided to violate the Judicial career Law 53 of 2015, and sabotage the independence of the new justice servers. The SPA grants broad powers to the judges to determine the fate of criminal cases, from foster arrangements with the victims, to rejecting  cases as violations of due process. As they have not implemented the institutions of the judiciary, new judges lack job stability. If every time they make a decision, these new officials should consider their continued employment, they will have wasted a golden  opportunity to improve the administration of justice in the country. With its chain of decisions, the most ill-advised, members of the Supreme Court have been irresponsible and unfair to justice. This historical error is unforgivable


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Top judge ignores Justice Commission

Posted on August 22, 2016 in Panama

Ayu Prado, Court's most traveled judge. led the appointment charge
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SUPREME COURT president José Ayú Prado  is in  the eye of a fresh  storm as  The State Justice Commission  has challenged him for ignoring  a letter sent  on August 3.

The Commission , coordinated by Administration Prosecutor Rigoberto Gonzalez, questioned him  on the criteria used for the appointment of 931 officials

They  will form the Criminal Accusatory System in the First Judicial District

“A reasonable time has elapsed without receiving a response to the request,” the commission said in  the second letter.

It said that the hiring practices used to fill positions in the new system  have not followed established regulations.

The commission is to meet Friday with representatives of the Executive to examine the budget assigned for the implementation of the new regime and the judicial career law which regulates the hiring within the judicial branch.

Ayu Prado  has numerous outstanding denunciations against him in the National Assembly and has been widely criticized for his multiple government financed trips abroad while hundreds of unresolved cases sit in the court.


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OPINION: Time for top judge to resign

Posted on September 9, 2016 in Panama

Ayu Prado checking out a globalized world
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THE PERSISTENCE of the presiding judge of the Supreme Court in  leaving   his  important post for banal travel  demonstrates his concept of justice.

His judicial tourism has forced the vice president of the Supreme Court to present the draft of the judiciary budget to the National Assembly.

His deputy, an experienced public magistrate , has had to assume his  duties, leaving his own  and increasing  further the workload of scarce public mahistrates  in the country. Remember that Jose Ayu Prado occupies three positions simultaneously in the Court, and that every day is one more day missing for overdue criminal and, constitutional cases, and international procedures that need  his  knowledge.

If at this point, the lucky traveler does not understand the importance of his duties, he may opt for resignation, and allow justice to function normally.


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OFF THE CUFF: Globe trotting judge in cash strapped system

Posted on September 10, 2016 in Off The Cuff, Panama

Ayu Prado, left, at the Vatican conference
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PANAMA’S Supreme Court Chief Justice José Ayú Prado,  reputedly has never turned down an invitation that involves an overseas trip.

Now he has defended  his latest jaunt this time to the Vatican.

6 de dic







A La Prensa cartoonist’s comment on Ayu Prado’s latest trip. The man holding on to the tail is Judge Harry Diaz

He went on a trip lasting some 10 days  to participate in a justice forum coordinated by the Organization of American States (OAS), among others, reports La Prensa.

“It was a legal forum. In addition, the trip is justified because the OAS invited me,” he said.

The trip was questioned by Judge Harry Díaz, who said it “did not represent any benefit to the administration of justice.”

Ayú Prado has been criticized for his frequent trips abroad, with hefty per diem allowances.

Meanwhile  as he has led the  judiciary in claiming  a shortage of funds in implementing the accusatory penal system.

Cash shortage
The chief justice has also traveled recently to Spain and to other countries around the world, while there is an ever growing backlog of cases in the court system

Auditors from the Comptroller General are reviewing the court’s 2015 budget for travel and per diem expenses.


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Court postpones travel talk

Posted on September 22, 2016 in Panama

Ayu Prado, Court's most traveled judge.
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Panama’s  Supreme Court judges have  postponed the discussion of regulations for judges’ journeys undertaken inside and outside of Panama.
“It was put to a vote and by a majority of five decided to await the outcome of an audit by the Comptroller General ” said a statement from the Court
The audit prepared by the General Comptroller of the Republic at this time includes travel of all judges.
The Court has paid almost a million dollars in travel for judicial and administrative officials over a period of two years. In 2014 and 2015 $995,731.84 was spent with top judge Ayu Prado leading the way.


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Tardy Court President under fire as cases stalled

Jose Ayu Prado

THE PRESIDENT  of Panamas Supreme Court (CSJ), José Ayú Prado is once again in the sights of  activists from organized civil society.

The controversial  judge who was promoted by ex-president Ricardo Martinelli from relative obscurity after 30 years  in the Public Ministry to Attorney General  and then to the bench in two years , where with the backing of other Martinelli appointees, he became president and gained a reputation as the court’s most traveled judge –  away  from the court on  multiple  taxpayer-funded overseas forays.

Now he is under fire for his tardiness in acting on a  May 9  petition from the  influential Independent Movement (Movin),   asking for a plenary to to deliver a “complete and detailed report” of all the protections of constitutional guarantees and habeas corpus.

Other civil society groups consider that the request is “timely”, as the Public Prosecutor’s Office is conducting  a series of investigations into corruption cases in the Martinelli  government, some of which are stalled because of habeas corpus petitions by defense lawyers, including those representing the ex-president.

Carlos Lee, of the Citizens Alliance For Justice, said that the request made by Movin reflects the interest of the people, who need precise information on the high profile processes, and particularly those of the former president and deputy of the Central American Parliament Ricardo Martinelli.

“Official information avoids speculation or interpretations that may be given to the parties through the media, ” said Lee.

Freddy Pittí, of the movement Juntos Decidimos, told La Prensa that it is a request “legitimate” and “opportune” for the corruption scandals that are taking place in the country.

He said he hoped that Ayu Prado wourespond positivelyely to the request and that the report be presented for the tranquility of citizens.

“Citizens are now more aware of what is happening in the country with their authorities. The request is the clamor of Panamanian society, “he said.

Annette Planells, of Movin, said  that it seems to her that the subject needs to be treated  because the lagging  habeas corpus are the responsibility of the nine magistrates who occupy the highest court.

She stated that the request arose because of the importance of “those tools in safeguarding our rights and are not used to delay processes.”

On June 19, Movin sent the same request to Judge  Harry Diaz, who in a note dated Thursday, June 21 asked Ayú Prado to discuss the issue in plenary with all the magistrates. “In attention to what is indicated above and in view of the time elapsed since the first application, I request that this topic to be discussed in plenary,” he wrote.

The note that Díaz sent to Ayú Prado was also sent to the other eight judges of the Court.

A  justice challenge
In its  letter, Movin reminded Ayú Prado that the protections and habeas corpus protections “are fundamental tools in the protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms “within the proceedings.

“The judicial delay in giving prompt and attentive response to these resources is a problem of the State, and above all it becomes a challenge for the administration of justice “, it emphasizes  adding that Article 2624 of the Judicial Code is clear in stating that amparos must be dealt with  Two days after being admitted and notified immediately to the actor and the official who dictated the order for the action.

“However, apparently and with better information, we find many cases where they spend more than a year of being admitted without a ruling, “said Movin.

On June 1Attorney General, Kenia Porcell, asked the CSJ to expedite the habeas corpus presented by the legal teams of the accused in the 24 investigations involving Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in Panama.

“It is important that these actions be resolved so that the Public Ministry can continue to their investigations, “said Porcell.



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Traveling judge requests audit


JUST 24 HOURS after revelations of the amount of money spent by some of Panama’s jet setting  judges, the Supreme  Court, president Jose Ayú Prado, has “formally asked the Comptroller General for  an audit  of”External travel expenses” and “purchase of tickets abroad”.

Ayú Prado is the judge who has racked up the most in per diems and air tickets. on trips. The audit request was reported on Monday  July 17 in a Judicial  press release, which said  that the audit should be from January 2016 to December 2017, “corresponding to the holders and alternates of the Supreme Court of Justice”.

In Ayú Prado’s application to the comptroller Federico Humbert, it was stated that “in January

2016, the audit of the implementation of the same budget items was requested, but From January 2014 to December 2015 “.

Ayú Prado’s request comes a day after it was learned that the Supreme Court of Justice has disbursed a total of $129,229 in judicial staff travel in the first five months of this year.

In another part of the communiqué it was emphasized that in mid-September 2016 the Comptroller Informed that “in relation to the magistrates Jose Ayú Prado, Hernán A. De Leon and Luis Ramón And the implementation of the audited budget items were not found to  justify the initiation of a process in the National Assembly.”



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Assembly lets judges off the hook and vice versa

Jose Ayu Prado, charges archived

The Credentials and Constitutional Affairs  ommittee of the National Assembly, during the presidency of Panamenista  deputy Jorge Alberto Rosas (2016-2017), arcived 18 of the 26 complaints s against judges of the Supreme Court (CSJ)

Of that total, six were rejected on May 17, while 12 were closed on June 26. A total of five of the allegations archived  by the Commission were the presiding judge of the Court, José Ayú Prado, and the rest were against other members, among them Luis Ramón Fábrega, Oydén Ortega, Harry Diaz, Angela Russo, Cecilio Cedalise, Jerónimo Mejía, Abel Zamorano and Hernán De León.

Rosas, who was reelected as chair of the Credentials Committee for the period 2017-2018 is now in the spotlight of Odebrecht corruption investigations.

The committee. still has to analyze eight pending cases against judges of the Court.

Article 160 of the Constitution states that it is for the Assembly to hear complaints against  Magistrates of the Court, while article 155 of this political letter says that  the deputies are processed by the full Court, reports La Prensa



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Traveling top judge eyes re-election


PANAMA’S  Supreme Court (CSJ) President José Ayú Prado, is prepared to “accept” re-election if he has the support.


Ayu Prado, and Ricardo Martinelli

Ayú Prado,  who was promoted  by Ricardo Martinelli to Attorney General and then to the Supreme Court in 2013 by Ricardo Martinell has survived  accusations of witness coercing while AG, denunciations  of interference as a judge  before a National Assembly committee and has gained a reputation as the country’s  most traveled magistrate, who has a taste for conferences and airports  while court files are increasingly backlogged.

Referring to his re-election ambitions he said on Monday, Sep 25  presiding judge of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), on Monday, Sep 25, at an event for victim  defenders he said:”In my house, my mother taught me to be responsible”,

“One is re-elected, or not re-elected. There is freedom of ideas and there are those [re-election] ideas, he said.


Mi Diario’s take on re-elected Ayu Prado, and the new judges who voted for him

But he warned that, for the time being, he would wait for the Executive Body to appoint two new magistrates, replacing Jerónimo Mejía and Oydén Ortega, whose terms end in December. At the last election, the two novice judges voted for Prado after being sworn in.

“We must see what happens” in these three months with the appointment of the new magistrates, he said.

For now, he added, he is “worried” about finishing some projects and getting the Executive and the National Assembly to increase the budget for the fiscal year 2018, reports La Prensa.

For the coming year, the Ministry of Economy and Finance recommended a budget of $159.4 million. The budget for the current year is $166.8 million.



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Judges faulted  in worthless land  bail scam

Posted on September 27, 2017 in Panama

Undeveloped land used for bail
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SUPREME COURT President José Ayú Prado who is seeking re-election is in the eye of another storm, following published revelations of scams linked to high-profile detainees who have obtained bail with plots  of largely valueless land  “in the middle of nowhere” used as security.

Against this backdrop Annette Planells, of the Independent  Movement (Movin) opined to La Prensa that it is the “lack of responsibility of judges “, and the failure to start the judicial career program. This has “caused failures in the administration’s ability to control problems like judges who accept estates with irregular certifications to release accused suspects,”  she said.

She  regretted the lack of a disciplinary court and that the situation entailed maintaining “Officials who are not qualified to [hold] office.”

Meanwhile the judicial career -approved in August 2015- for lack of funds. has not been implemented by Ayu Prado says La Prensa.  “Ironically, he has spent more than $80,000 in trips around the world. Ayú Prado,  has stated that $ 20 million is required to start the judicial career.

Judge Harry Diaz warned that “with the use of these estates as security the Public Ministry (MP) must investigate ex officio, a possible crime against the State by the use of properties that have altered appraisals, but which are accepted by judges in civil and criminal proceedings for release.

“It would be, roughly speaking, a scam. Depending on what the prosecutor finds in preliminary investigations, there may be an illicit association to commit crimes, against faith and the public,” among others, said Díaz.

The position of the magistrate of the Second Criminal  Court is due to a La Prensa investigation that revealed that overvalued estates that are in deplorable condition without basic services or access are releasing politicians and people accused of  high-profile crime.

The majority of the land is consolidated in a small group of companies that have the same directors and they repeat the names of the directors, dignitaries, witnesses, proxies and processors before the Public Registry.

Some of the beneficiaries of the releases are being prosecuted for the supposed embezzlement of the extinct National Assistance Program  (PAN) and the failed irrigation system of Tonosí, in Los Santos. To this list are added several accused of being part of a network in the Judicial Branch that “sold” faults and freedoms, to those accused of drug trafficking, money laundering and homicide.

To try to stop irregularities in the courts, Diaz suggested the creation of a rule that makes the judge “expressly” responsible when “not taking the necessary corrective, action when the parties or ex officio realize that the farms do not have the real value real to cover the bond “.

Cash guarantees
Although he did not mention the judicial career, he believes the criterion that the law must be modified so that the bonds are only guaranteed in cash and that the institutions that are involved in issuing them “shall be held liable for any misrepresentation in the actual market value. He considered that to ensure that land is suitable for bail it must be previously assessed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and by the Comptroller General.

He made it clear that, even if a value has been registered on the estate in the Public Registry, “That does not mean that it is the real value of the property, therefore, it could even be typified as a crime against the public faith “.



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Supreme court judges denounced

Posted on September 28, 2017 in Panama

Submitting denunciations
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THE PRESIDENT of Panama’s Supreme  Court (CSJ)  José Ayú Prado and fellow judge Ramón Fábrega were denounced on Thursday, September 28, for the alleged crimes of abuse of authority and infringement of the duties of public servants.

The complaint was lodged by seven complainants in the investigation of former President Ricardo Martinelli, for the interception of communications wiretaps by the National Security Council without judicial authorization. in the last two years of his mandate.

Martinelli has been detained in Miami since June 12 waiting to be extradited to Panama to face trial in the case.

Among the complainants are Rosendo Rivera, Carlos Herrera Morán, Francisco Carreira Pittí, Balbina Herrera, Osvaldo Gálvez Him, Cecilia Torres Ramos and Roberto García Flores.

Two weeks ago, the group reported that three CSJ Judges  travelled to Miami with the intention of notifying

Martinelli of the request for a hearing date of charges requested by Judge Fabregas in a case involving the ex-president for the alleged extortion of the Italian company Impregilo. Fábrega is the prosecutor of the case.



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The corruption  network that “prosecutor” Ayú Prado missed

The former home of PAN
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THE FILING of a prosecution  against ex-president Ricardo Martinelli  and two deputies by his appointee, Supreme Court (CSJ)  president   Ayú Prado because the prosecution  has not been able to assemble enough evidence to secure a conviction  in a  corruption case involving $46 million, appears to be a lack of diligence  by the court according to a La Prensa report

Ayú Prado

The law says the prosecutor [Ayú Prado]  “will arrange the file if he considers that the act does not constitute a crime, dismissing the complaint or actions. … the  decision will be reviewed by the judge of guarantees -in this case,  Jerónimo Mejía- if the victim requests it.”  So far   It is not known if there will be a review

Sources of the Public Ministry (MP) explained that the Court would have to ask the Comptroller General for more information about the accounts and money managed by the former National Assistance Program (PAN)  for the purchase of grain and determine if there is a possibility of reopening the investigation. However, documents provided by the Judicial Body indicate that since 2016, there was little diligence in the process.

The case was admitted by the plenary of the CSJ on  September 17,  2015 The MP forwarded copies of the investigation to the CSJ, after the statement made in January 2015 by former PAN director Rafael Guardia Jaén, who said he awarded the contracts for the purchase of grains on  the instructions of Adolfo Chichi De Obarrio, secretary of then president Ricardo Martinelli, and now a fugitive.

Guardia Jaén revealed that when they passed the phone, Martinelli told him: “Do everything I told Chichi, to tell you.”

The source added that they also sent copies of the process to the CSJ when the names of Deputies Gálvez and García since it is the role of the CSJ to investigate the deputies.

La Prensa  called the Minister of the Presidency, Álvaro Alemán, to know if the DAS, under the jurisdiction of his office would request as a victim of the case, a review of Ayú Prado’s ruling, but he did not answer

On September 17, 2016, the case was admitted by the plenary session and Ayú Prado was designated as prosecutor.  On that date, the Judiciary said  that one of the aspects taken into account by the  CSJ to initiate the investigation of Martinelli was the fact that Rafael Guardia Jaén stated that contracts for the sale of grain to companies were  managed by  then [Martinelli owned]Super 99 purchasing director, Roberto Brin, because the rice was provided by Mario Martinelli, brother of the former president.

Another of the statements used as a basis to initiate the investigation was the statement made by Pablo Ruiz Obregón, representative of the company Hialing Corporation, who narrated that Mario Martinelli was the capital partner of that company, who had also sold rice, vegetables and school bags to PAN.


Mario Martinelli

In addition, the full CSJ referred to a financial report, which said that checks for considerable amount were written by  Hialing Corporation, in favor of Mario Martinelli, Roberto Brin and José Domingo Mimito Arias, who would later be Presidential candidate for Democratic Change in the 2014 campaign.

In the case of Deputy García, the businesswoman Mara del Carmen Vergara, from Suplidora Edimar, S.A., declared that it gave a percentage of the money charged to the deputies and Guardia Jaén affirmed that Gálvez requested the direct purchase of sacks of rice for his circuit through t contracts with Constructora Botsa.



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Panama’s jet setter top judge away again

International cooperation
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PANAMA’S  jet-setting chief justice José Ayú Prado, who between trips abroad manages to find time to complain about the increasing number of delayed court cases is off to Spain again.

Spain, this time as a guest at the inauguration of the Attorney General of Spain, Julián Sánchez Melgar, according to the Justice Department.

The act of taking the post was held in the Hearing Room of the Supreme Court of Spain. “President José Ayú Prado reinforced the communication links and cooperation with the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Kingdom of Spain with the Judicial Branch and the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama, and the name of the Judicial Council of Central America and the Caribbean, acting as president pro tempore, “said the Judicial Organ.


The chief justice as seen by La Prensa cartoonist

In  October Prado was in the Principality of Asturias, where he participated in the Ibero-American Conference on Judicial Ethics, as part of the Ibero-American Judicial Summit.

Ayú Prado has defended the trips of the magistrates with the argument that they promote international cooperation and staff training.

In July 2015, the Citizens Alliance for Justice filed a complaint with the Assembly to Investigate the trips of magistrates.

In January this year, the organization requested a new investigation on travel and per diem of de Ayú Prado and the judges Hernán De León and Luis Ramón Fábrega, presidents of the Civil Chamber and Administrative Litigation, respectively.



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Panama’s Supreme Court  Flying Circus

The chief justice as seen by La Prensa cartoonist
ELECTED Lawmakers in Panama have a deserved reputation as being largely more interested in putting their hands into the state cookie jar than aiding those who voted them into office. But it appears that the jar is shared with those who administer what passes for justice in the Supreme Court (CSJ),

In just five years Panama’s high flying judges have taken 679 days away from the court to wing their way to 32 different countries while unresolved cases sit moldering in their pending trays.

The flying stakes are led by the three guardians of justice who form the board of the Court: controversial president, José Ayú Prado, and his vice-presidents, Luis Ramón Fábrega and Hernán De León who between them have made three quarters. of all trips-a total of 124 tours.  according to a La Prensa investigation.

The star collector of air miles and first class seating who seems never to have received an invitation he could decline, or a “training” event he could miss, is Ayú Prado, with 48 trips to 23 countries.

The traveling fetish has been embraced, by magistrates appointed in December 2015 by President Juan Carlos Varela.  who  already out perform several of their colleagues with more trips in two years than others in five. In the last five years, the CSJ magistrates have visited – at the expense of the State- 32 countries on 124 jaunts. If you total the days they were away from their duties, it would be equivalent to having been absent for almost two years.

Based on the 124 trips made in 5 years, the average is 13.7 trips per person. But six of the nine judges did not reach the average The three who did easily surpassed the mark.

In 2016. The record was with José Ayú Prado,- who made 12 trips or one a month. The traveling custom was immediately picked up byVarela  appointed Cecilio Cedalise, who made five trips in 2016. In third place, came  Hernán De León – also named by Martinelli- with four trips.

The top three, cost the State about $400,000 between tickets and travel expenses, not counting accrued salary  (at $10,000 a month). While files sat in their offices.

In the period between 2013 and 2017, Ayú Prado visited 23 different countries in 3 continents (America, Europe and Asia). There were 48 tours totaling 216 days that cost the State $166,000.

Favored destinations:  the US  and Spain, 7 trips each.

Out of a total of 48 trips, 45 were to attend various meetings and three  for the court  president to receive “training”.

His most expensive tour was, to Russia, Spain and Austria and  ost the State $14,000  plus salary  to participate in legal forums and workshops . He  even did a 10-day  internship, , in Spain, that cost the State $13,000.


Ayu Prado and Martinelli

Meanwhile among his stagnant files is one related to the man who appointed him, Ricardo Martinelli and CD deputies Sergio Gálvez and Vidal García, for alleged irregularities in the purchase of grains through the National Assistance Program. (PAN). The file was provisionally shelved.

With the “protect my back” pact between the National Assembly and the CSJ  little is likely to change, heading into 2018 as Varela focuses instead on a papal visit.



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Globe trotting judge gets groupie photo

Ayu Prado and King Felipe
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José Ayú Prado, the globe-trotting president of the Supreme Court attended the launch of the new  Spanish Academy Panispánico legal Dictionary at the University of Salamanca, Spain on Friday,  Dec. 15

During the ceremony, Ayú Prado bumped into  King Felipe VI, and grabbed the chance get a picture, with royalty and pass on greetings from “all the magistrates of the Court, and from all the comrades of the Judicial Organ”, says a  quickly issued press release.

Judicial authorities of several Iberomérica countries attended the event.

In the last five years, the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice have accumulated 679 trips to 32 different countries. Ayú Prado has made 48 trips to 23 nations.

The dictionary consists of two volumes,  with 2, 220 pages, and contains 40.000 words with the lexicon of Latin American countries.



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Supreme Court president steps down

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Judge José Ayú Prado, who late in 2017  had expressed interest in seeking re-election has presented his irrevocable resignation as president of Panama’s Supreme Court.  

The news comes at a time when the judicial system is mired in controversy, with calls for the firing of one judge and questions over decisions by others reinforcing impunity for high profile political and business figures.

Ayú Prado who has earned a reputation as a jet-setting judge because of his numerous overseas trips to conferences social and “educational” events, communicated his resignation to the Court’s vice-president Hermann De Leon and the other judges in a note on Wednesday, January 31.

De Leon will assume the interim presidency, while the process resumes to appoint two new magistrates after the National Assembly failed to endorse Presiden Varela’s  first controversial picks. Two of the current judges were due to retire on Dec 31.

Ayú Prado will remain as a magistrate of the Criminal Chamber until December 31, 2022.



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1 hour ago, Moderator_02 said:

...has presented his irrevocable resignation as president of Panama’s Supreme Court.  

Do any of you pick up the terminology here — “...irrevocable resignation...”? Without specifying such, could José Ayú Prado change his mind and go back into that position?

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Since Prado will be replaced by an interim President, I'm inferring that a there will be a vote by somebody (Assembly or perhaps other judges of the Supreme Court) to ratify a formal replacement. I guess we'll have to stay tuned to see what happens.

Clearly, something big is going on behind the scenes.  Prado was having too much fun in his role to just relinquish it suddenly.  And since he did that, why didn't he resign entirely?  I don't know enough about the politics of the judiciary here in Panama to have a very informed opinion, but this certainly seems to be long overdue.

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3 hours ago, Uncle Doug said:

there will be a vote by somebody (Assembly or perhaps other judges of the Supreme Court) to ratify a formal replacement

"other judges of the Supreme Court".

He may have been pushed out, he certainly isn't popular with the President or the public.

There's also the possibility that he wanted out before Martinelli's return when he could be pressured to make rulings in the former President's favor.



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Judge says forced resignation report “fake news”

Jose Ayu Prado,
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José Ayú Prado, whose abrupt resignation as president of the Supreme Court after earlier musings that he would seek another term sparked speculation on social media, has labeled  an audio report that he was forced to resign as “fake news.”

In the audio – supposedly – he said that state security forces forced him to resign, but he denies this version reports El Siglo.

The ex-top judge announced Wednesday. January 31  his “irrevocable” resignation as president of the Court and of the corresponding chambers.

In addition to the presidency of the Court, during the election of the directive for the 2016-2017 year, Prado also remained as president of the Second Criminal and the Fourth General Business Hall.

The decision to resign was communicated to Hernán De León, vice president of the Court in a note stating that his resignation would be effective as of February 1, 2018.



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Judge clashes with prosecutor over paralyzed  probe

Jose Ayu Prado
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Supreme Court Judge José Ayú Prado, renowned for time spent away from Panama on State-funded trips abroad to “conferences and study sessions”,  has denied being responsible for the “paralysis” of the investigation by the irregularities in the award of the televised bingo contract Buko Millonario, involving the sons of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli.

Ayú Prado, who is the rapporteur of a guarantee panel for  Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares -one of those investigated in the case, said that the draft decision came out of his office in January 2017, when he began the process of collecting signatures from other members of the plenary session. Currently, it awaits the vote of a magistrate of the Court, as stated in a note that Ayú Prado sent to Attorney General Kenia Porcell, on April 4.

Earlier that same day, the Public Ministry complained because the process has “two years and four months of stoppage for a protection of guarantees … “waiting for the Amparo to be decided by Judge Ayú Prado to continue the investigation,”

In his note to Porcell, Ayú Prado indicated that although the Amparo was filed in November of 2015, it could not be attended until an incident of contempt that was entered in December of that year was resolved The incident was finally resolved in November 2016

“As the Public Ministry did not use the usual channels to verify and corroborate information, it took the risk in speculating on data and details that, unfortunately, were incomplete, inaccurate, and did not match with reality and confused public opinion “, says Ayú Prado in his letter.

The Public Ministry is investigating  the alleged irregularities in the contract which was awarded the Buko Millonario, a televised bingo whose operation was awarded “to a front company to benefit the children of a high former official ” [Ricardo Martinelli]

The Fifteenth Criminal Court provisionally dismissed on July 2  last year charges against currently detained former Minister of Finance Frank De Lima; the former executive secretary of the Games Control Board (JCJ) Giselle Brea, and the ex-sub-secretary Luis Felipe Icaza. for the alleged commission of crimes against the public faith -in the form of falsification of documents-, to the detriment of the JCJ.



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Ex chief judge denies secret  meetings on Martinelli

Se Leon and Ayu Prado
Post Views: 136
Supreme Court judge  José Ayú Prado whose recent overnight resignation as Court president, while he was looking for reelection surprised legal circles,  denies that he has held meetings  in his office to discuss the protection of constitutional guarantees presented by Ricardo Martinelli against the decision of the Judge of Guarantees, Jerónimo  Mejía, to maintain the competence of the hearing of  the former president for wiretapping, and embezzlement.

“Ayú Prado clarifies to the general public that he has not met with alternate judges Efren Tello, Luis Mario Carrasco and Wilfredo Sáenz Fernández, neither before nor after the ordinary meeting of Thursday, July 5, 2018, to discuss any topic, including the protection of constitutional guarantees against a decision of a magistrate of guarantees “, said a press release released  by the Judiciary on Friday.

The plenary of the Court, meeting on  Thursday, put on the agenda the admission or rejection of the protection of constitutional guarantees presented by Martinelli’s defense against the decision of Judge Mejía, that the CSJ maintain the competence of the case of the wiretapping case.

Judicial sources confirmed that the magistrates Hernán De León, Tello (deputy Luis) Ramón Fábrega) and Alonso (substitute of Ayú Prado) would promote a draft decision in which they would decline the competence of the CSJ and would order the case sent to the Sixteenth Criminal Court, as requested by  Martinelli.

Before the plenary meeting, De León, Tello and Mojica  would have been in Ayú  Prado’s office

At no time was mentioned the participation of Carrasco in this meeting, as Ayú Prado alleges in his clarification. Ayú Prado, however, did not deny having met with De Leon.

The counterproject of these three – De León, Tello, and Mojica  – would be contrary to the elaborate ruling by Oydén Ortega, who – as rapporteur for the amparo – considers that the CSJ should maintain its competency

Ortega’s project is supported by Abel Zamorano and Luis Mario Carrasco.

Ayú Prado, in the press release issued by the Judicial Organ, assures that the meeting held in his office before the plenary session, was to deal with “issues” of the implementation of the accusatory criminal system “and the $14 million budget deficit of the  Judicial Organ.

The Supreme Court reported that by a plenary hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, July 11.



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Jet-set judge gets tax-payer  funded two-week break


José Ayú Prado The most traveled judge

Posted 06/06/2019

Supreme Court Judge José Ayú Prado, who in spite of the overload of unresolved cases has never been known to turn down a travel opportunity. A few days after returning from a Central America jaunt applied for leave with salary to will attend a "specialized course in organized crime, corruption and terrorism" to be held at the University of Salamanca, Spain, from June 10 to 26.

In a note addressed to the presiding magistrate Hernán De León , on February 26, Ayú Prado said  that he accepted the "invitation" from the General Foundation of the University of Salamanca, and asked for the instructions "to be granted a license with Right to salary, , acquisition of air ticket and transfer by land [round trip] and the per diem of lodging and food “

In his note, Ayú Prado recalled that last January he was invited by the same university to an intellectual property course, but could not participate because it coincided with another "invitation" to travel -this time to China- and because his personal substitute was not available for that date.

On May 28, the plenary session of the Court granted Ayú Prado the leave with salary and that same day, her deputy was called to take care of the office while the absence lasted, "with a monthly salary of $ 6,000   plus expenses of representation of   $4,000. "

The decision was questioned by Judge magistrate Harry Díaz, since granting a license to the magistrates to carry out long-term studies "hinders" the functioning of the work of the plenary session.

Díaz also observed that the "invitation" to Ayú Prado entails allocating the institution's own resources to cover the costs of tuition, passage, transfers, lodging, food and travel expenses.

Ayú Prado has been president of the Court twice: from 2014-2015 and 2016-2017. In his its first mandate, the state body disbursed almost one million dollars in travel of judicial and administrative officials: ($995731.84,  Then Ayú Prado defended the trips, with the argument that they encourage international cooperation and training.

In 2016, the  Citizens Alliance for Justice filed a complaint to investigate the travel and travel expenses of Ayú Prado and the judges  Hernán De León and Luis Ramón Fábrega, then presidents of the Civil and Contentious Administrative Chamber, respectively.

TheAlliance alleged that the three are the judges who accumulated the most miles: from 2012 to 2015, were Ayú Prado( 23 trips); Fábrega (17), and De León (16).

The complaint was shelved by the National Assembly  Credentials Committee, which considered that the trips had to do with the functions of the Judicial Organ and that there was no property damage reports La Prensa.



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