Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Moderator_02

The "Varela-Leaks Scandal" - WhatsApp Messages of Panama Ex-President Revealed, and the Resignation of Attorney General Kenia Porcell as Collateral Damage

Moderator_02

For those interested in viewing the website that is publicizing this information, visit https://varelaleaks.com/. Note that the website is in Spanish.

Message added by Moderator_02

Recommended Posts

Quote

Alleged WhatsApp messages of Panama ex-president revealed

varela.jpg

Juan Carlos Varela

Posted 06/11/2019

Alleged communications via WhatsApp of former President  Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019) with the Attorney General of the Nation, Kenya Porcell, and Comptroller Federico Humbert, among others in 2017 and 2018,  were released last Tuesday, November 5, through a site called varelaleaks.com , whose authorship is unknown reports La Prensa and other media.

No further details of the origin of the device are specified.

The communications, according to the site, also include alleged messages between the former president and businessmen such as Pedro Heilbron, Stanley Motta and Taher Yaffar and Guillermo Liberman, among others; former deputies like Katleen Levy, and the vice president of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez. Likewise, with the former ambassador of Panama in Korea and lobbyist of the Panamanian party, Jaime Lasso, with whom Varela allegedly communicates regarding an investigation by the Public Ministr of  a donation from Odebrecht.

There are also excerpts from communications with María Mercedes de Corró, executive-vice-president of La Prensa  and former ambassador of Panama in Spain, in which the former president complains about the content of some stories.

In the alleged messages exchanged between Varela and Porcell, there are references to the collaboration agreements between the Public Ministry and several State contractors investigated for money laundering.

There are also references to the extradition requested from the United States of Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, sons  of former President Ricardo Martinelli.

So far, there has been no reaction of the issue by Varela or his relatives. The former president is currently at a trade show in Shanghai and recently posted  a picture of himself at  a dinner  for heads of state hosted by Chinese  President Xi

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/alleged-whatsapp-messages-of-panama-ex-president-revealed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

WhatsApp messages are encrypted. 

 

You're correct, there's end to end encrytion in the Whatsapp client software.  However, if either end is compromised malicious messages could be sent.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The former President Varela  feels that former President Martinelli is responsible, since after all it was he who had the spy equipment.

9A1C5C22-60E6-4172-BC9A-D2853185E2FB.thumb.jpeg.0aca28cfe0cba556b6f6418ac9f4d21d.jpeg

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Presidential palm-greasing exposed on Varela’s WhatsApp

varela-robinson.jpg

Varela handed Robinson control of the Baseball Federation and more

Posted 07/11/2019

Getting the National Assembly to approve a $300 million tax exemption in October 2018, would have cost then-President Juan Carlos Varela, and the country, the disbursement of public funds to get the support of some deputies. 

Alleged WhatsApp talks between Varela and his brother, the former deputy and president of the Panamenista party ,  José Luis Popi Varela  - then one of the most influential men in local politics –exposed  on the Varelaleaks site, reveal everything that the Executive would have given in exchange for the votes to pass the tax dispensation in the legislative commissions of Budget and Economy reports La Prensa 

Meanwhile La Estrella carries damning revelations of communications between the country's Attorney General, Kenia Porcell, and Varela. Porcell has frequently been accused of hanging fire on investigations related to alleged bribery by Odebrecht of senior figures in the Varela administration. identified bt code names in Odebrecht file

The negotiation included the delivery of 50 scholarships to each of the deputies; contracts in institutions, and five $300 Lottery books, apiece with the exception of Benicio Robinson, and Yanibel Ábrego, who at that time presided over the Budget Commission and the National Assembly, respectively. They both would have received 10 notebooks each. 

In WhatsApp chats of September 2018, former president Varela would have complained to his brother that "Benicio asked for the baseball federation [and] was given it ".

Robinson, current president of the PRD was re-elected in the Panamanian Baseball Federation (Fedebeis) in December 2018, amid the scandal over the case of the Panamanian Sports Institute (Pandeportes), an entity that transferred at least $7 million to the Fedebeis, between 2014 and 2017. 

This part of the conversation arises after Popi Varela informed his brother that he had met with Robinson and Abrego, and that the government "were offering pods that do not comply."

"In the end, I don't agree that they offer so many things ... tomorrow we'll meet Jorge González, Benicio, Yanibel and me," the ex-president's brother would have said. Jorge González was the Minister of the Presidency at that time 

Popi Varela listed the Executive's offer: scholarships, supermarket vouchers, Lottery books, for example. "And Eydita offered contracts in institutions," he added. Eyda Varela de Chinchilla was, at the time, the Minister of Economy and Finance. 

"Tomorrow we will clarify everything with Jorge. Benicio already promised me to unlock," adds Popi Varela. 

Days later, they would have agreed to deliver the gifts listed.

But that group of deputies, according to the dialogues between the Varela brothers, would also have obtained "bonuses" or support "via FOIS

Nelson Jackson, president of the Economic Commission of the time, would have made a special request: the payment of a $70,000 debt he had with a hospital for his  daughter's operation. 

The former president would have always emphasized that if they did not approve the waiver, jobs would be lost. 

The chats have also recorded conversations in which Popi intercedes with  his brother for Luis Eduardo Camacho, spokesman for former president Ricardo Martinelli, either to give him an appointment, or to talk to him about Ricardo Martinelli. " Camacho has just left ... what he tells me is that this man is really affected psychologically … .

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/presidential-palm-greasing-exposed-on-varelas-whatsapp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Ex-president blames leaks on Martinelli's Pegasus equipment

pegasus.jpg

Posted 08/11/2019

Former  Panama president, Juan Carlos Varela,  has laid the blame for the widely published leaks of his WhatsApp chats on his predecessor, Ricardo Martinelli and the “Pegasus”  spying equipment purchased during Martinelli’s reign.

In a phone interview with TV Metro from Shanghai on Friday, November 7  he said that his private communications were distorted, altered and disclosed without his consent while claiming that Martinelli was the main architect of the plot.

Varela said that it has been observed that  “people close to former President Martinelli  first announced and disseminated on social networks and instant messaging, as the existence of the website with altered and manipulated texts with the clear intention of causing damage "

“I have not lost any cell phone. This proves what Panama already knows about the purchase, illegal use and subsequent disappearance of Pegasus telephone interception equipment, acquired during the administration of former President Ricardo Martinelli, ”said  Varela, who left power last June.

According to Varela:” The possible relationship between Martinelli and his relatives with the suppliers of the equipment would have allowed him to continue intervening illegally beyond his mandate and it is clear that this practice could continue at this time.

"If the phone number of an acting President could be intervened, it is clear that any Panamanian, be it, president, deputy, judge, journalist, businessman or civil society is today vulnerable and at the mercy of a criminal organization," he said.

He added that despite all the manipulation observed on the anonymous website that claims to contain conversations made by him as acting president of the Republic with relatives, officials and individuals, it is clear that as president he never crossed or cross the line in illegal acts.

"Fighting corruption and the corrupt is a difficult task that requires a lot of poise," he said.

He added that in addition to violating the privacy of Panamanians, his private conversations and those of many others, have been taken out of context.

Varela said he is  evaluating  the situation with the purpose of filing legal actions for the obvious commission of a crime of violation of privacy

Martinelli was charged with illegal wiretapping and extradited from the United States but was found not guilty. The decision of three judges has been called flawed and is under appeal.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-president-blames-leaks-on-martinelliampamp039s-pegasus-equipment-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

President Analyzing Future of Attorney General

k-and-v.jpg

Kenia Porcell and Juan Carlos Varela

Posted 08/11/2019

The future of Panama’s Attorney General  Kenia Porcell is being “studied ” following publication of leaks from the cell phone of former president Juan Carlos  Varela.

President  Laurentino Cortizo, made the statement to journalists on Friday, November 8 after announcing that a team of specialists is analyzing the veracity of the WhatsApp messages leaked from the cell phone and disseminated through the Varelaleaks website.  

Among the leaked conversations are those with the Attorney General, which reveal a close relationship between the top representatives of the Executive and the Public Ministry, which must be governed independently.

Asked about an eventual request to resign from Porcell, Cortizo replied at first that "the resignation is a very personal matter for her". Pressed by  journalists, he said that "it is an issue that I have to analyze."

Cortizo said that under his Presidency "we will not be wiretapping anyone illegally. Yes, there are judicial taps but not from the point of view of one person or another who says. We do not waste time on that”

The prosecutor has not yet commented on the Varelaleaks.

On Thursday, in an interview with  Telemetro Reports, Varela referred to his relationship with Porcell.

Martinelli fingered 
"The prosecutor faced a criminal organization that undoubtedly remains unpunished, led by the former president ... An official feels lonely because he fights against a structure that has the capacity not only to intervene a president's phone but also to go to a [foreign] country, to mount in a cloud all the information [of a cell phone] ... this costs millions of dollars, "Varela said.

"I had the responsibility of coordinating with the  Attorney General.... That level of communication is mandated by the Constitution ... There was support, always respecting the independence of the Public Ministry," and added that, as governor, He also supported the Public Force, "in the fight against these groups that believe they are unpunished."

Porcell was appointed by Varela, for a period of 10 years, ending December 31, 2024.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/president-analyzing-future-of-attorney-general

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Attorney General resignation report labeled sfake news

false.jpg

Posted 08/11/2019

A letter circulating on social networks with the alleged signature of Attorney General Kenia Porcell, telling  President  Laurentino Cortizo, that she is resigning from office is "totally false." says the Public Ministry.  

In a statement,  issued Friday, November 8 the Public Ministry said that "this is part of a smear and  misinformation campaign against the Attorney General's Office."

The false resignation arises after the alleged leak of data that contained information on conversations between former President Juan Carlos Varela and some people, including Attorney General Porcell.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/attorney-general-resignation-report-labeled-sfake-news

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Attorney General will face the nation Tuesday  on  wiretap leaks

cortizo1.jpg

Posted 10/11/2019

Panama’s Attorney General , Kenia Porcell will face the country on Tuesday, November 12 said President  Laurentino Cortizo on Sunday, November 10 while attending events in La Villa de Los Santos.

Cortizo said he has spoken, via cell phone, with Porcell and she told him what she would do on  Tuesday. He also said that he has not spoken with former president Juan Carlos Varela.

"I have not analyzed anything, I have been reading" and it is a very sensitive issue, said Cortizo in relation to the Varelaleaks ( WhatsApp messages leaked from Varela's phone).

On Friday, November 8, a letter circulated through social networks, in which  Porcell announced her resignation. It was immediately denounced  by the Public Ministry as  fake news

To date, it is not known if the Public Ministry will open an investigation to analyze the veracity of the information and its origin. reports  La Prensa  It is widely believed to have emanated from a Pegasus wiretapping system used during the Martinelli administration. The $13 million surveillance equipment was last seen at the headquarters of Martinelli-owned Super 99.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/attorney-general-will-face-the-nation-tuesday-on-wiretap-leaks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

OPINION: New leaks show all at risk

varela.jpg

Posted 10/11/2019

The Varelaleaks have once again confronted two pillars of our democratic society: the right to privacy and the right to information. On this occasion, and in congruence with the actions against the Wikileaks, the Panama Papers and other specific cases, La Prensa has decided to generate content from the material that we consider of public interest. These leaks offer valuable elements for the understanding of what happened in a specific period of the mandate of Juan Carlos Varela, the way in which the former president managed the public image, the relationship with other actors in society and the factors that shaped the landscape in which we are in today.

On the other hand, we cannot help raising a voice to put on the table the complex and dangerous situation in which we find ourselves. A cell phone is a tool without which contemporary life is not understood: through mobile phones one loves, hates, pays, charges, manages, scolds, threatens, governs and destroys. These leaks originate in the mobile of one who occupied the highest authority of the Republic. That means everyone, without exception, we are in a situation of tremendous vulnerability, a vulnerability that endangers from personal relationships to commercial transactions. And that, in the worst-case scenario, it conditions us as individuals, because it makes us susceptible to moral, economic and all kinds of blackmail.

How many decisions of senior officials have not been defined by threat and fear? Who has kidnapped this country? And, finally, who will give us peace, legality, the certainty that there is justice? Economic and of all kinds. -LA PRENSA, Nov10

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-new-leaks-show-all-at-risk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else notice that all these leaked messages are only damaging to former President Varela's people and the PRD? 

Not a bad word has emerged concerning former President Martinelli and his CD followers.

The courts here couldn't convict anyone of wiretapping political opponents so why not do it some more? The Pegasus electronic spy equipment which the public paid for has never been located.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Varela leaks show outgoing president pushed insider contracts

varela.jpg

Posted 11/11/2019

Three companies implicated in the “Blue Apple” bribery scandal got a helping hand from former president Juan Carloc Varela who interceded in their favor to obtain contracts with the State at the end of his term.

A conversation between Varela and his then Minister of the Presidency, Jorge González, filtered by the “Varelaleaks” digital site, reveals that Varela pushed for González to provide contracts to Meco, Roda, REC Engineering and Cusa  a

Several chats between Varela and Gónzalez make it clear that the former president influenced the granting of contracts to companies considered "close" at the end of his term in office reports La Prensa.

In October 2018, and the Executive finalized the plan to for projects that would be executed with the $300 million product of the tax exemption that the National Assembly would approve.

On October 5, , three days before the National Assembly approved in the third debate the bill that gave the green light to raise the fiscal deficit, the then-president made a request to González, head of the Ministry of the Presidency, and the man who handled priority works of the Executive to  push projects of insiders

The contractors for whom Varela interceded were: Carlos Cerda, president of Constructora Meco, a Costa Rican capital company that in the past government won contracts close to $ 1,5 billion.; Rogelio Alemán, of Constructora Urbana, SA (Cusa), the partner of Odebrecht in one of the flagship projects of the last administration: the urban renewal of Colón, for  $635 million; Juan Rodríguez, president of Constructora Rosa, a company that also won contracts totaling millions during the last government. And Eduardo Di Bello, from REC Engineering, another of the companies that were awarded multi-million dollar direct contracts by the Varela government.

Cerda, Rodríguez and Di Bello, , have something in common: they were three of the businessmen who admitted to having paid bribes to Blue Apple Services, Inc., allegedly in exchange for expediting procedures and disbursements for progress of work in the government of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014). All reached collaboration agreements  with the Special Anti-Corruption Office of the Public Prosecutor

The judicial case was also among Varela's conversations with the Attorney General,  Kenia Porcell. Says La Prensa.

Varela blames  Ricardo Martinell for being responsible for the site that leaked his communications. “Beyond the debate of the content of the conversations, what is clear is the direct intervention of the former communications of a president and the manipulation of the information by an organization led by former president Martinelli, using the equipment that was bought in his time , with funds of corruption, called Pegasus ”, said Varela.

Jorge González was Varela's trusted man. He was secretary of Goals, vice- minister of Housing; later he was spokesman of the Presidency; then vice- minister of the Presidency and later became a minister.

Today he is ta director of the Panama Canal Authority.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/varela-leaks-show-outgoing-president-pushed-insider-contracts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Varela calls on WhatsApp leak victims to defend rights

vvv.jpg

Posted 13/11/2019

Former Panama president, Juan Carlos Varela, has  called on those who have been affected by the alleged leak of their WhatsApp chats through a digital site to "defend our rights."

In  a statement,  issued Wednesday, November 13 Varela asked "not to let those who stole our people's money to deprive us also of our dignity."

Varela said that the "illegal" interception, alteration and filtration of his private conversations represent the "lowest act of cowardice of my political adversaries. [ He holds Ricardo Martinelli responsible for the leaks].

"The main objective of these leaks is undoubtedly to erode the credibility of our democratic institutions and divert attention from  cases of corruption and the fight against organized crime in the country," he says.

He adds that this objective has resulted in the resignation of Kenia  Porcell from the position of attorney general of the Nation. Porcell announced Tuesday that she will leave the Attorney General’s Office five years before the expiration of the period for which she was appointed. The announcement came in the midst of the storm that generated  by the "Varelaleaks" scandal.

"Corruption at the highest levels of the government of. Ricardo Martinelli cost the Panamanian people more than a billion dollars," says another part of the statement.

Former President Varela (2014-2019) also noted that for "purely destabilizing" purposes they have filtered his private conversations with family, friends and "with many other people who came to me as president of the country…. "Only they and I will know the real context in which these exchanges took place," he says. 

Finally, Varela apologized to his family, to all those affected by the leaks and to the country, for this situation caused by "those who insist on challenging justice."

The Varelaleaks site disclosed the alleged communications of Varela, in 2017 and 2018, with Porcell; Comptroller Federico Humbert, and former director of the National Security Council, Rolando López. Also with businessmen - like Pedro Heilbron, Stanley Motta, Taher Yaffar and Guillermo Liberman, among others -; Panamanian lobbyist Jaime Lasso; the vice president of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, and the former  first lady Lorena Castillo de Varela, among many others.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/varela-calls-on-whatsapp-leak-victims-to-defend-rights

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Attorney General resigns as Vareleaks scandal widens

porcell.jpg

Kenia Porcell

Posted 13/11/2019

ama’s Attorney General  , Kenia Porcell , announced Tuesday, November 12 that she has resigned  from January 1, 2020, and that she communicated her decision, to President Laurentino Cortizo , at a meeting at the PresidentialPalace

Porcell said she  would formally submit the written resignation to Cortizo, on  Wednesday.

The Cabinet Council will now be responsible for appointing a replacement  completes the 10-year period for which Porcell had originally been designated, and which expires on December 31, 2024. Porcell said she aspires to conduct an orderly transition in his office.

"The country is above the AG  and I have to think about Panama. My presence affects impartiality," Porcell said Tuesday, in an interview with Edwin Cabrera, news director of Radio Panama.

The journalist was surprised, since Cabrera had several minutes interviewing Porcell, without her making any reference to resigning from office. Reports La Prensa.

Cortizo received Porcell and David Díaz, deputy secretary general of the Attorney General's Office on  There Porcell informed him of her intention to resign and establish a smooth transition with her successor.

"We reiterate the commitment of the National Government to strengthen institutionality and the rule of law," said the Presidency.

Porcell's resignation is a consequence of the Varelaleaks : the anonymous site that leaked the private communications of former President Juan Carlos Varela between 2017 and 2018. Among the messages disclosed are the conversations, via WhatsApp, between Varela and Porcell . The deal was frequent and close. In the 429 pages of messages, both refer to some files of corruption and money laundering, and, specifically, of the Odebrecht company and the collaboration agreement that it agreed with the Public Ministry.

Porcell said that she didn't know the contents of the Varelaleaks.

"I have not seen it, I have not read it and I am not going to do it, because that is a crime," Porcell told Radio Panama .

However, she said her communications could have been altered, as Varela accused last week. "Some things that my team has told me that they leave are not my expressions," she said.

She  also said she received calls from  prosecutors from other countries, interested in assisting in the investigation "to determine the origin of this information."

Currently, there is no ongoing investigationof the Varelaleaks. Although the former president has said that his cell phone was never lost and that his communications were extracted without his consent, article 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code indicates that the investigation of crimes against the inviolability of secrecy requires the submission of a complaint from the party. offended

Among the leaked communications there are several messages from Varela and Porcell, in which they refer to the agreement with Odebrecht, and how this was addressed by the then deputy  José Luis Popi Varela  and the former mayor of the construction company in Panama,  André Rabello . In May 2017, Rabello was pushing to reach an agreement. The communications between Popi Varela, his brother, the then president of the Republic, and Rabello, would reveal manipulation and pressures so that the latter was favored, while seeking to reduce the impact of the fine imposed by the Public Ministry (MP) on Odebrecht .

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/attorney-general-resigns-as-vareleaks-scandal-widens

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would sure like to know how Varela thinks Martinelli is responsible for the leaks when the former president was in prison at the time with no access to an electronic device of any kind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The Challenges of Replacing an Attorney General

ag.jpg

Kenia Porcell

Posted 15/11/2019

The  designation of the replacement of  Attorney General Kenia Porcell rests with President Laurentino Cortizo . However, an inappropriate appointment would cost all Panamanians writes attorney  Rodrigo Noriega  in La Prensa

Dozens of high-profile corruption cases, the extradition of the children of former President Ricardo Martinelli and the processing of an exception to the principle of specialty that protects the ex-president would be affected by the appointment of an attorney who radically modifies the institution.

The prosecution of crime in Panama is a task assigned to the Public Ministry by mandate of the Political Constitution.

Unlike other entities of the judicial branch, the Public Ministry does not have a collegiate government, as does the Supreme Court of Justice or the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences. The Public Prosecutor's Office is headed by the Attorney General. That is his strength and his greatest weakness.

An attorney solicitor like  Ana Matilde Gómez was able to lead important transformations in the institution and prepare her for the accusatory criminal system. He abrupt departure caused an exodus of officials and cracked the institutional scheme within the entity.

Prosecutors, despite their years of dedication to the service of the State, do not have the stability that a teacher, a police officer or a doctor can have. A prosecutor, by rotation, can be transferred to a distant province or assigned to manage different issues.

Prosecutors, like doctors, are highly specialized. The preparation required by an official of the Public Ministry takes years of formal, national and international training and many years of practice to correctly handle the relationship with security agencies, exchanges with other countries and the interrelation with key institutions of the Panamanian State, such as the Comptroller General of the Republic, the Unit of Financial Analysis, the General Directorate of Revenue or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to name a few.

Since Panama lacks police specialized in judicial investigation, as Chile and Costa Rica do, and Panama hadt until 2008 with the Judicial Technical Police, National Police investigators must rotate and assume other roles. This means that the institutional memory of the criminal investigation is only in the Public Ministry.

How long does an investigation take? The investigations of the Public Prosecutor's Office can take years, as has been the case with the Alas aircraft that suffered an attack in 1994, the disappearance of Vernon Ramos or the great majority of high-profile corruption cases.

With the departure of the solicitor Kenya Porcell and the possible turnover of personnel generated by a new prosecutor, proceedings are interrupted and the multi-case strategy is affected, since a prosecutor can approach a criminal case seeking penalty agreements to hunt the big fish , and another might find that it is better for him to concentrate his efforts on a few small fish to build his reputation.

Prosecutor Porcell is on the extradition of  Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares. As if this were not enough, it carries out a request for consent to the government of the United States to validate an exception to the principle of specialty that protects the former president of the Republic  Ricardo Martinelli.

In addition, the Public Ministry is waiting for information exchanges with Spain and Andorra, and remains on hold until the Judicial Branch decides whether to continue investigating the Odebrecht case .

All this bases the need for the next attorney to respect institutionality and understand, first hand, the work done by the Public Ministry. The opposite would be to lose five years of efforts and leave the country unprotected against corruption.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/the-challenges-of-replacing-an-attorney-general

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Martinelli era wiretapping software still active

pegasus.jpg

Pegasus in the shoes of the people as seen by a La Prensa cartoonist

Posted 15/11/2019

Panama Supreme Court J(CSJ) magistrate Harry Diaz, the former prosecutor of the Ricardo Martinelli wiretapping case said on Friday. November  15 that the Pegasus interception system, purchased by the Marinelli administration and a central feature in the case against the former president is still active.

The software, which is currently missing and was last seen at the headquarters of the Martinelli owned  Super 99 chain" Varelaleaks ". Diaz related it to the current Varelaleaks scandal and did not rule out that it was being used in 2017 when the leaked communications to former president Varela took place.

He indicated that it is illegal to carry out wiretapping and left raised his position that the puncture machine is still used. Recently the leaks of the communications of former President Juan Carlos Varela came to light with the impact leading to the resignation of the nation’s Attorney General of the Kenia Porcell.

Several sectors have expressed concern that the country continues to face infiltration.

On the power of the law firms in the appointment of magistrates, revealed in the Varelaleaks, magistrates Olmedo Arrocha and Harry Díaz, avoided issuing opinions, but called for the improvement of the procedures for the selection and appointment of judges reports La TVN
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/martinelli-era-wiretapping-software-still-active

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Ex-president files complaint over   WhatsApp threats

varela.png

Juan Carlos Varela

Posted 15/11/2019

Former President  Juan Carlos Varela has filed a complaint for "violation, alteration and manipulation of the privacy of communications" of him, his relatives "and of all citizens who talked with him, including current officials, judges, deputies, journalists, trade union leaders, trade unionists and civil society. "

The complaint was filed by lawyer Alfreda Smith, before the Office of Primary Care, of the Public Ministry. 

In a statement, Varela said that on Thursday, November 14, he received anonymous threats via WhatsApp, and disclosed some excerpts from them. T

he former director of the National Security Council, Rolando López, also received anonymous messages.

The messages come from the number 6867-6551. However, when calling it, a recording appears indicating that this number "has not been assigned" reports La Prensa

In the messages denounced by the former president, reference is made to the Varelaleaks, the website that has disclosed Varela's communications by WhatsApp, between 2017 and 2018.

"All Panama knows how damn you are. Now get ready for 2014-2017, now the good is coming, get lawyers because I'm going to fill you with lawsuits. With the second part your wife and the few friends that will leave you ", it can be seen in one of the messages received by the former president.

Rolando López is threatened with the disclosure of information from 2014-2016. "Picui get ready … come, we will expose you ... your power deflated," says one of the messages.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-president-files-complaint-over-whatsapp-threats

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Media bodies call for respect from government officials

newspaperr.png

Posted 21/11/2019

The National Council of Journalism (CNP) and the Forum of Journalists demanded respect for the role of the media, after leaking conversations of former President Juan Carlos Varela called "Varelaleaks".

The unions have indicated that this revelation leaves great weaknesses of our institutions bare, reports TVN News

" In this radiography, the relationship, sometimes tense, between the political power and the media, has also been exposed, demonstrating the fundamental role played by the free press in a democracy, " said the statement.

According to the CNP and the Forum of Journalists, the situation requires an energetic call to officials and former officials of all levels, to understand and respect the work of the media.

" The duty of journalism is to report rigorously and independently the facts of public interest, avoiding taking sides in personal disputes, policies or partisan agendas," both journalistic associations stressed. Meanwhile, they have claimed the right of citizens to express themselves, especially through social networks, without fear of being persecuted from power.

 " A society that does not respect freedom of expression and whose authorities promote vilification, offense, manipulation and intimidation, is a society that cannot move to the first world ."

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/media-watch/media-bodies-call-for-respect-from-government-officials

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Bar Association demands “immediate” firing of Attorney General

porcell.jpg

Posted 24/11/2019

Panama’s National Bar Association (CNA) in a statement on the current justice system  calls  for independence, credibility and demands the immediate separation of Attorney General Kenia Porcell .

The ANC document, dated November 24 and issued at a general assembly of body  the says that there must be real judicial independence in the country and recognize that justice has collapsed in credibility, effectiveness and efficiency.

They also demand the immediate departure of Porcell  and not December 31, as announced by the Attorney General .

Jurists demand "enough is enough" in  the handling of justice by political power, therefore, we oppose political appointments and without merit to occupy the high offices of justice.

The resolution, which bears the signature of the president of the ANC, Juan Carlos Araúz , also raised the recognition that the new appointments of magistrates and attorney  general will not solve the real problems of Panamanian justice.

"Therefore, we demand that they be accompanied by the political commitments necessary to transform" the justice system.

The CNA said  that  new designations should convey tranquility, recognizing professionals with the merits to be part of the reconstruction of justice.

Finally, the Assoiation  saud indicated that the Judicial Body must clearly communicate  why and where the progress of the Judicial Career is detained, and  whose responsibility is the rocky implementation process.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/bar-association-demands-immediate-firing-of-attorney-general

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Ex-president criminally denounced for WhatsApp revelations

varela-denounced.jpg

Posted 27/11/2019

Ex-president Juan Carlos  Varela has been  denounced for alleged  corruption of public servants abuse of authority and violation of duties and cover-up

Lawyer Abdiel González Tejera, who requests the seizure of the ex-president’s mobile device bases his complaint on the content of Varelaleaks, the portal that has disseminated Varela's private messages  via WhatsApp, with officials, businessmen, journalists, family and friends between 2017 and 2018,

According to González Tejera, the communications of Varela with Attorney General Kenia Porcell would reveal a possible interference of the Executive in the Public Prosecutor's Office, and in judicial cases linked to acts of corruption, such as bribes that Odebrecht paid in Panama.

González Tejera denounced Porcell on November 14, two days after she announced her resignation, as of January 2020. In the action against Porcell, she is accused of alleged d cover-up, abuse of authority and violation of the duties of public servants, influence peddling, corruption, and illegal association to commit crimes.

Varela has also filed a complaint over the leaks, claiming he has received threats. He also maintains that his cell phone has not been lost and that some messages were altered.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-president-criminally-denounced-for-whatsapp-revelations

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Chinese Embassy denies kickbacks for Panama recognition

chinese-amb.png

Posted 29/11/2019

The Chinese Embassy in Panama has reacted strongly to media publications of "Varelaleaks" that speak of alleged payments of "coimas" (kickbacks) intended to "buy" the Panamanian decision to establish diplomatic relations with the Asian giant.

On Friday, November 29  the  embassy issued a statement:

The principle of a single China, consisting in the explicit recognition of the fact that in the world there is only one China, whose Taiwan territory is an inalienable part, constitutes the most important political basis on which diplomatic relations between the Chinese State and all the states of the world.

The Panamanian government, by adhering to the same principle, as well as 180 countries of the world, established the establishment of  relations on June 13, 2017, thus opening a new era of friendship ties development and cooperation between both nations.

The Chinese and Panamanian parties held serious negotiations, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, with the strictest adherence to the fundamental norms of the Charter of the United Nations and International Law, with full transparency and situated at an impeccable moral height.

There were neither before nor during nor after the process any type of compromise or unfavorable arrangements in pursuit of personal interests. Any irresponsible speculation about "millionaire payments" intended to "buy" the adoption of the one-China policy by the Panamanian government is unfounded falsehood against the good name and institutional dignity of both States.

The embassy statement also states that “it is normal and common international practice to carry out non-reimbursable cooperation projects between friendly countries. China and Panama do not have to be an exception. ”

The embassy notes that “ framework agreements designed to advance economic and technical cooperation projects between both countries were signed based on the needs and possibilities of both parties. For such purposes, the allocation, administration and use of corresponding financial funds, as well as their evaluation are strictly regulated.

"In the more than two years of Chinese-Panamanian diplomatic relations, to the great satisfaction of both parties, there have been very important advances in the field of non-reimbursable cooperation between our two countries, for the real and direct benefit of the people" , said the embassy

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/chinese-embassy-denies-kickbacks-for-panama-recognition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...