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Lost high profile files judge on trial

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Felipe Fuentes,
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The trial of a  controversial  suspended judge who “lost” files related to Financial Pacific (FP) and, the alleged center of a network of shady deals  involving high profile figures  and the disappearance or death of an investigator  is entering its fourth day

The judge Felipe Fuentes, is on trial for the alleged violation of public seals, after the loss of FP files,

The case originated on January 15, when a citizen found in the area of Loma Cova, Arraiján, a yellow envelope containing the documents related to a Financial Pacific Case involving Ricardo Martinelli. The Public Ministry initiated investigations on January 16.

The files were in the custody of Fuentes, who was the seventh judge of the Criminal Circuit. Fuentes remains under the precautionary measure of separation from the position.

Fuentes has survived as a judge despite previous controversies like ordering the release from prison of a supposed leader of a criminal gang

In November 2005 he was accused of abuse of authority and violation of the duties of public servants. According to a ruling under the then Supreme Court magistrate Graciela Dixon, Judge Fuentes violated the and appropriated two outboard motors.

In May 2009 he was accused of corruption in the Public Prosecutor’s Office. After the results of the audits ordered by the Supreme Court, there were reported failures in the controls of the books and folios of his office, inaccuracies in the information of the files and non-compliance in procedures to convert days of fines into prison sentences

The anti-corruption prosecutor, Ruth Morcillo, said Thursday, November 22 that three witnesses of the Prosecutor’s Office and between four and five of the defense have yet to testify, in the oral trial

Morcillo explained that six experts must also appear at the trial, which began last Wednesday, November 21.

The prosecutor avoided giving more information about her allegations since she could use them when she has to present her conclusions.

The Public Ministry has requested a sentence of 38 months in prison. as the main penalty.

Among the documents were six booklets of the FP case, related to the investigation for the alleged use of privileged information to manipulate the stock market through the High Spirit account belonging to Ricardo Martinelli

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/lost-high-profile-files-judge-on-trial

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Judge asked assistant to perjure herself

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A suspended judge who lost documents related to a high profile criminal investigation with possible links to Ricardo Martinelli boasted of packing his office with relatives and tried to get his associating to give false testimony. said a witness at his trial on Thursday, November 22.

Walkiria Boya Casasola, judicial secretary of the Seventh Criminal Court, testified that Felipe  Fuentes named three relatives in the court and boasted that authorities would never realize it because they have different surnames.

In addition,  said the witness that he gave permission to officials to work from home, and he coerced his assistant to change her version of the alleged theft of part of the record of a proceeding related to the defunct brokerage  Financial Pacific (FP).

Boya said that after the Public Ministry raided the court and detected that the file was missing, Fuentes coerced his assistant, Karina Martinez, to say that she, by mistake, put the booklets in a yellow envelope.

Boya testified under oath in proceeding against Fuentes for the alleged commission of crimes against the public faith, after the alleged removal of notebooks from the FP file, which were later found by a man on a Panama highway. -Arraiján, in Loma Cová.

Fuentes accepted that he named family members, but reiterated that his assistant put the booklets in the envelope, which she confused with documents of a thesis that he was preparing

Boya testified for over three hours at the hearing of  Fuentes, for the allege subtraction of booklets from the High Spirit account file. The account in the now defunct Financial Pacific brokerage reportedly belonged to then-President Ricardo Martinelli. and was used to manipulate the stock market in the US and Canada.

Coercion
She also testified that the judge coerced his assistant, Karina Martínez, to give a version that would favor him in relation to the booklets of the Financial Pacific case file by saying in her testimony that she had put the booklets in a yellow envelope that she placed in his office. Martinez refused to give that version.

Fuentes wanted her to support the excuse he gave to the magistrates of the Second Tribunal, that he took the file to his house because he confused it with a yellow envelope in which he kept documents of his master’s thesis.

The hearing continues .  A disciplinary process has begun in the Judicial Branch, whose results are still unknown.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/judge-asked-assistant-to-perjure-herself

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Prosecutor asks jail time for rogue judge

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The seventh circuit judge Felipe Fuentes who has been separated from office since Feb  1   was convicted by three of his peers on Friday, Nov.23  of being the person who stole six booklets of the Financial Pacific (FP) case, which were found lying on the Inter-American Highway, near Loma Cová , in  January.

The prosecutor has asked for a sentence of 38 months in prison. The sentence will be announced on Dec.10.
The judge who already had a spotty record remains suspended without pay.

During the trial; it was revealed that he had tried to get a court assistant to lie to investigators, which she refused t do and that he had three relatives working in the court who he boasted would not be discovered because they had different names.

The judges argued that between January 10 and 15, Fuentes took from the court documents that belonged to the FP case, which had to remain at all times in the court premises.

In addition, they valued the statements of the judicial secretary of the court, Walkiria Boya Casasola, and court assistant Karina Martinez, who reported that in the period in which the event occurred, the last person who had the booklets was judge Fuentes.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/prosecutor-calls-for-jail-time-for-rogue-judge

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Convicted judge escapes jail  time, fined $2,500

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Felipe Fuentes
Post Views: 113
 
A judge found guilty of the crime of theft of public documents linked to the Financial Pacific investigation involving numerous high profile figures from the Martinelli era (2009-2014) will not be serving the jail sentence that was handed down.

The anti-corruption prosecutor Ruth Morcillo requested a sentence of 38 months (three years and two months in prison) for suspended seventh criminal judge Felipe Fuente. But r, the members of the court replaced the penalty with  500 days fine at the rate of five dollars a day, ($2,500)payable in six months to the National Treasury.

As an accessory penalty, Fuentes was imposed 20 months of disqualification of public functions.

“Here there are serious situations for the administration of justice,” Fuentes said on his departure from the Accusatory Penal System of Plaza Ágora.

An investigation was opened to Fuentes last January for allegedly subtracting booklets from the High Spirit (Ricardo Martinelli)account file of the defunct Financial Pacific (FP brokerage

Fuentes was removed from his post last February, after admitting that he took the booklets “wrongly” for his house, and when he was going to return to his office they fell off the motorcycle he was riding.

The booklets were found by a citizen on the Arraiján-Panama road, at the height of Loma Cová, and delivered to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and a criminal proceeding was opened.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/convicted-judge-escapes-jail-time-fined-2500

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Operators of Scandal  Plagued Brokerage  to Court April 1

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Posted 09/11/2019

West Valdés  and Iván Clare, the founders of the liquidated Financial Pacific (FP) brokerage firm  which has been the center of multiple  corruption investigations  involving leading figures  during the Martinelli administration will face a preliminary hearing in the Twelfth Criminal Court .on April 1, 2020 for alleged fraud against Caye International Bank Ltd

The bank  registered in Belize could not recover the investment in FP after it  was intervened in 2012 by the Stock Market Superintendence which  concluded in a forced liquidation due to financial mismanagement.

In 2017, the court authorized the Public Ministry to reopen the case and gave it an extension year.

In addition, this process also includes Óscar Rodríguez, former FP accountant; and former employees of the securities house Mayté Pellegrini and José Jaén.

Other cases are pending.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/operators-of-scandal-plagued-brokerage-to-court-april-1

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Ex-president wants money laundering case quashed

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Posted 29/11/2019

Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli wants an investigation followed by the Seventh Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office for alleged money laundering through High Spirit and Jal Offshore companies in the former Financial Pacific (FP) brokerage canceled.

Funds would have been used for the acquisition of shares of Petaquilla Minerals in Canada.

Through an Amparo of guarantees presented before the Supreme Court  Martinelli attacks the decision of the Eighteenth Criminal Court to reject an incident that sought to annul the investigation, in which he is mentioned.

The Amparo claims that the Eighteenth Court violated due process by granting an extension to the prosecution to complete the investigation and conduct acts of an investigation involving Martinelli.

The appeal states that Martinelli is protected by the principle of specialty, which prevents him from being investigated for a different crime for which he was extradited from the United States (against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and embezzlement).

In August, Eighteenth Judge  Baloisa Marquínez, in resolving the petition for annulment filed by Martinelli, concluded that, the prosecutor's office has summaries under investigation in which there are no persons charged.

In addition, the judge said that although the prosecution admits that the investigation a group of people is  mentioned, including Martinelli, the investigation is not focused on him, but on persons who allegedly used privileged information to take advantage of other investors and acquire Petaquilla Minerals securities in the Canadian stock market.

Martinelli was extradited from the United States on June 11, 2018, to face a process for alleged wiretapping and embezzlement  He was found not guilty by a trial court, but the  decision that, however, was appealed to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has not ruled on individual petitions filed by Martinelli in other criminal proceedings that were pending, for the alleged commission of multiple crimes.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-president-wants-money-laundering-case-quashed

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Court rejects jailed judge appeal

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Fuentes during an earlier hearing

Posted 01/12/2019

The Supreme Court rejected an Amparo filed by the defense of the former seventh criminal judge  Felipe Fuentes against the decision of the trial court, composed which sentenced him to 38 months in prison and separated him from office.

In an edict posted by the Court it is reported that, under the presentation of Judge Ángela Russo, the plenary of the Court did not grant the former judge an Amparo of constitutional guarantees against the trial court.

In the Amparo, Fuente cited alleged violations of his constitutional guarantees, during the oral trial on November 22, 2018.

Fuentes had taken booklets from the High Spirit account file, of the closed Financial Pacific brokerage. The account was linked to ex-president Ricardo Martinelli who recently moved to get the case closed.

On January 15, 2018, a citizen who was traveling in his vehicle through the Loma Cova sector, on the Panama-Arraiján highway, noticed that a man on a  motorcycle had dropped a yellow envelope. The citizen stopped and discovered the content and took it to the Public Ministry.

Later it was learned that the motorcyclist was then Judge Fuentes and the lost documents, pages of the High Spirit file.

On December 10, 2018, the trial court sentenced him to 38 months in prison, but his prison sentence was replaced by a fine.

The same month, the Court rejected a first Amparo of guarantees presented by Fuentes against the trial court. On that occasion, he complained about alleged verbal orders to do and not do taken by the Court of Appeals, which, according to him, would have denied him exercising his self-defense.

Fuentes alleged that the booklets in the High Spirit file accidentally left his office, as they were confused with other documents, and once the confusion was detected he tried to return them to court.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/court-rejects-jailed-judge-appeal

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Financial Pacific money laundering cases  combined

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Wes Valdez

Posted 03/12/2019

Two processes related to the handling of allegedly irregular funds through the extinct Financial Pacific (FP) brokerage have been linked at the request  of the Seventh Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, for possible money laundering.

One of the processes is related to possible irregularities of FP in the management of the High Spirit account to the detriment of the Superintendence of the Stock Market (SMV) .

According to the prosecution, there were transactions of $1 million, $ 2.9 million and up to $4 million in the entries and exits of the High Spirit account with money from the alleged commission of financial crimes in the Panamanian stock market system

The other file is from a complaint filed by Caye International Bank registered in Belize that could not recover the money invested in FP, after the brokerage  was intervened by the SMV in 2012, a process that concluded with a forced liquidation of the entity for bad financial management.

In the case of the Bank of Belize (by fraud), the former directors of FP Iván Clare and West Valdés are investigated , the latter detained  in  El Renacer prison  as well as Oscar Rodríguez, former FP accountant; and two other former employees.

In the case of the High Spirit account, the prosecution investigates 14 people, including Roberto De La Espriella, Jesús Veleiro Carballeda, from the law firm Veleiro, Mihalitsianos & De La Espriella (VM&E), who deposited almost $500 thousand in the company's account.

In addition, there is Gumersindo García Domínguez, who served as director / president of the account; Teresa Sánchez de Abood and Mariel Rodríguez Espino, FP compliance officers; and Josué Absalón Chávez and Carlos Javier Osorio Wald, former FP managers.

Also linked are Ori Sasson Zbeda, Aaron Mizrachi Malca, Navin Mohan Bhakta, Tse Yum Ling, Miguel Mihalitsianos, and the former directors of Financial Pacific Valdés and Clare.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/financial-pacific-money-laundering-cases-combined

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