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The Justice System of Panama Is Flawed and/or Sick

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Moderator comment: Normally this kind of posting would be placed in the "corruption forum", however, given the subject matter we are posting it as part of this topic.

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Ex-judge's son facing "rulings for sale" charges

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Posted 04/09/2019

Lawyer Oydén Ortega Collado, son of the former Supreme Court judge, Oydén Ortega Durán and Claudia Purcait, assistant to the former magistrate were charged by a judge of guarantees on Monday, September 2  with trafficking in influence, for the alleged sale of judicial rulings

The Chilean businessman César Alvarado Taylor was the one who filed the complaint against the son of the former magistrate who has not been placed in preventive detention.

The case comes at a time when the ex-judge is named in revelations by undercover operatives of recordings of another Panama lawyer who claims he had paid major bribes to the judge, which the j.udge has denied

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-judges-son-facing-rulings-for-sale-charges

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OPINION: Safeguarding corrupt politicians

Posted 04/09/2019

The National Assembly approved in the first debate the bill No. 50 that would eliminate the power of the Public Prosecutor's Office to order preventive detentions in cases that still continue with the mixed inquisitive system. The proposal was presented by the deputy Hernán Delgado, of the Democratic Change party, who was also the manager of the summary test requirement to prosecute the deputies, contained in Law 55 of 2012. At first glance, it seems harmless, but it must be vigilantes of any legislative add-on, which frees detainees in high profile cases or even spoils the extradition of those investigated who fled abroad to avoid the action of justice. It is clear that the project sticks another stake in the body of the Public Ministry, an entity that has become a nuisance for corrupt politicians and their henchmen. The ominous precedent of Law 55 of 2012, which protected the deputies, should be enough to avoid another goal that completely defeats the fight against great corruption.- LA PRENSA, Sep.4

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-safeguarding-corrupt-politicians

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OPINION: Panama justice for sale

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La Prensa cartoonist Low illustrates the sale of fallow (rulings) to those with cash

Posted 06/09/2019

The scandalous statements of Panamanian lawyer Janio Lescure, which were recorded by an Israeli private intelligence agency, and that this newspaper has recorded all this week, should cause more than the morbidity in citizens and justice institutions. All actors in the judicial system must be clear and transparent when responding to the complaints and questions disclosed. Panama cannot keep a questioned justice, which is unable to justify its actions and validate the integrity of its members. President Laurentino Cortizo has in his hands the task of completing the justice reform initiated in 2005. The judgments and other proceedings of our courts cannot be prisoners of the doubt that they were obtained in exchange for 30 coins, or as a result of the most abject and disgusting influence peddling. The imputation last Monday of the son and the assistant of a former magistrate of the Court require that Panamanians take these efforts seriously. Never before, in democratic times, has the dimension of suspicion weighing on our justice been so evident. – LA PRENSA Sep. 6

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-panama-justice-for-sale-1

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Judge calls for investigation of revelations of bribed colleagues

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Olmedo Arrocha

Posted 06/09/2019

Panama Supreme Court Judge , Olmedo Arrocha has called for, an investigation process of the statements made by local lawyer Janio Lescure in Spain on the sale of judicial sentences in Panama.  

The Panamanian lawyer in recorded statements made to undercover Israeli investigators has said that there were four magistrates with whom he could make "deals".  Two of them have been named in La Prensa, and have denied knowing Lescure,  but the son of one of them. Oyden Ortega is facing trial along with a former assistant of the judge, for influence-peddling in obtaining favorable judicial decisions.

Civil rights activists believe that this is the time for President Laurentino Cortizo to step forward and fulfill his promise of "no corruption."

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/judge-calls-for-investigation-of-revelations-of-bribed-colleagues

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Investigation opened into “judges for sale” revelations

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The Supreme Court rocked by bribery reports

Posted 06/09/2019

The Office of the Prosecutor against Organized Crime has  initiated an investigation into the publications of  La Prensa about the alleged "purchase and sale" of judgments in the Supreme Court (CSJ), as detailed by lawyer Janio Lescure while being recorded by undercover investigators.

The decision was reported by the Public Ministry (MP) on Friday, September 6, 2019, through its Twitter account.

On the same day, President Cortizo, during meetings to discuss the  appointment of new judges expressed his concern about the revelations.

The MP warns that it is up to the National Assembly to initiate investigations of  the judges of the CSJ, given that Lescure - according to La Prensa - refers to magistrates  Hernán De León and Abel Zamorano .

The notes also refer to Oydén Ortega , magistrate of the CSJ until last February.

La Prensa's investigation emphasizes the statements made by lawyer  Janio Lescure  last year in Spain, about the sale of judicial sentences in Panama.

The information was extracted by an Israeli private intelligence agency, hired by a Panamanian businessman, who had several meetings in which Lescure described a scheme to buy and sell rulings . Lescure introduced himself as an intermediary to pay the bribes.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/investigation-opened-into-judges-for-sale-revelations

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OPINION: Judges turn their  backs on justice

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Posted 07/09/2019

The Second Superior Court of Justice, through Judge José Hoo Justiniani, declared void the process of the corruption scandal of the Tonosí irrigation project, benefiting the 33 accused in this case. The cause invoked by the Court is inspired by that controversial ruling by Ángela Russo in the Finmeccanica case. Thus, again a court cancels a complex investigation followed in accordance with the rules of the mixed inquisitive system because the prosecution allegedly exceeded the term of the investigation. That cause does not exist in the Judicial CodePanamanian, as it was created by the Supreme Court in a high profile case.

In addition, it is not taken into account for the assessment of the investigation term all the time lost by the prosecution, for dilatory resources or for medical excuses that have been presented by the defense. For whatever reasons, the judges and magistrates who participate in these hoaxes insist on ignoring that due process is a two-sided currency: that of the accused, and that of society and the victims of these acts of corruption. A sad era that Panama lives in which the judges turn their backs on justice. - LA PRENSA, Sep. 7

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-judges-turn-their-backs-on-justice

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“Whoever has the Gold makes the Rules” ..or pays to have someone ignore them.

This case was about a scam project from the word Go during the Martinelli era, where nothing was accomplished but millions of dollars disappeared. Among others, a former VP was involved which led to Superintendent of Banking forcing the sale of Banco Universal.

Maybe the decision will be appealed.

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