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Italy-Panama corruption “Soap Opera" drags on

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Italy-Panama corruption “Soap Opera drags on

LAVITOLA arrested LAVITOLA arrested at Rome airport on his return to Italy
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THE INVESTIGATION  of two Italians accused of a $20 million bribery deal in Panama is heading is in its fourth year as a judge of the Naples Court has again delayed the opening of the oral trial – until May 8.

Lavitola in his Panama heyday

The defendants in the case are Valter Lavitola, the link-man of the corrupt deals with the Government of Panama, and Ángelo Capriotti, partner of the Svemark consortium. Lavitola was a favored party goer in Panama, courted by businessmen and politicians and frequently photographed with Martinelli, then Vice-president Varela and former Italian Prime minister Berlusconi.

Charges are connected to the frustrated construction of four modular jails in several  Panama localities by the Italian consortium.

The latest postponement occurred because of an administrative error. Capriotti was arrested on April 4 for a parallel crime of money laundering and bankruptcy fraud in Rome, but the judicial authorities in Rome did not properly communicate this information to the competent bodies in Naples.

The chief prosecutor of the Naples court, Vincenzo Piscitelli, and his deputy, Henry John Woodcock, completed the first  phase  of the case in November 2014

However, delaying tactics of defense lawyers and Italy’s notoriously slow judicial bureaucracy have added to the time lag in starting in oral proceedings.

The case has been  described as an Italian Soap Opera  by ex-Panama  president Ricardo Martinelli, whose name figures largely in the investigation

Panama applied to be an accusatory civil party in the case, which, if validated, confers to the country the right to pursue by judicial means full compensation for damages.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Italy-Panama corruption “Soap Opera" drags on
  • 4 weeks later...
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Ploys delay $20 million Italy-Panama probe

LAVITOLA when first arrested in Rome LAVITOLA arrested at Rome airport on his return to Italy
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LEGAL ploys to delay justice are being used in a $20 million Italian fraud case linked to Panama and the government of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli.

The judge of the preliminary investigations of the Court of Naples was again forced to postpone the opening of oral trial in the case about the alleged deviation of $20 million in the frustrated construction of four modular prisons in Panama by the Italian Svemark consortium.

Processed in the case are the Italian Valter Lavitola, “director” of corruption operations between the company and the Panama Government, and Ángelo Capriotti, partner of Svemark.

Lavitola’s lawyers demanded that the process be transferred by territorial jurisdiction from Naples, where the investigations began seven years ago, to Rome arguing that the accused reside in the Italian capital.

It is a legal ploy that seeks to delay the case for international corruption in Panama.

and focus on the time lapse as happened with the Finmeccanica process.

However, the chief prosecutor of the Naples court, Vincenzo Piscitelli introduced the aggravating circumstance of it being a crime configured with illicit economic transactions outside the Italian territory so that the statute of limitations was automatically extended

Panama requested to be an accusatory civil party, which, if validated by the judge, confers the country the right to pursue through the court’s full compensation for damages caused.

Meanwhile, the other accused, Capriotti, former chief of Mauro Velocci in Svemark, continues in jail accused of money laundering and fraudulent  bankruptcy

He entered prison in early April after authorities discovered that he had created a network of screen societies to launder money obtained from the fraudulent bankruptcy of his company and other illicit acts related to the misappropriation of several buildings.



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Varela, Martinelli, and more called as Italian bribery witnesses

Lavitola when arrested in Rome
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PRESIDENT VARELA and a bunch of key players in the previous administration have been called as witnesses in a case in the Court of Naples (Italy) over the attempt to divert bribes by the Italian Valter Lavítola, in the process for the failed construction of modular prisons in Panama.

Lavitola was a link man between former Italian leaders and officials in the previous administration and was a prominent figure in the Panama social scene until he fled.

On  the basis of the bilateral agreements signed by both countries the court must summon international witnesses,  are former President Ricardo Martinelli; the former Minister of Security, José Raúl Mulino; the ex-director of the National Police, Gustavo Pérez; the former head of the Security Council, Alejandro Garuz; former Mayor Roxana reports Radio Panama.

The next hearing will be on January 24, 2019.



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