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The attempts at translation of mainstream media articles by Newsroom Panama are pitiful.

Retributions ..wait for them.

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I'm sure he won't be granted bail. He has requested that before. 

But, if he's decided to keep fighting extradition, his next step is to appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and he'll probably get two separate chances there. Assuming he loses twice, he's entitled to appeal to the US Supreme Court, who may or may not choose to hear the case.

In short, if he wants to delay extradition, he can probably do so for at least one more year, perhaps three.

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It is possible that he's simply trying to outlast the Varela administration while sitting in a Miami jail cell. I don't know why he would think he would fare better under a new administration after the elections, but I suppose it may provide new opportunities to bribe, oops I mean convince, new officials that he should not be prosecuted.

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Martinelli could be in Panama by April – lawyer

Martinelli awaiting the decision
Ricardo Martinelli could be back in Panama no later than April, according to lawyer Sidney Sitton, who is part of the defense team of the ex-president.

The latest statement in the flip-flop farce came on Thursday, January 25, the day after Martinelli spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho had said that the former CD leader would be appealing the Jan. 22 decision of a judge,  confirming his extradition.

Sitton said on AM News that after the Tuesday hearing the defense team talked with their client and explained that the case for which he is being processed [wiretaps] was  “easy to face in Panama” because it is flawed.

If the bail is granted Martinelli’s defense, would not change his decision to return to Panama, according to what was agreed at the two-hour meeting held on Tuesday January 22, when the hearing concluded.

Sitton said that if the judge decides to grant bail, she should pass it to the Department of State to do the political-administrative process for the extradition, but it would be done under freedom.

Once Martinelli arrives in Panama, he goes before a judge in the Supreme Court of Justice, later he would resign from the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) and will go to the ordinary courts and the case would be treated under the Accusatory Penal System (SPA), said Sitton



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US judge backs extradition of ex-Panama president Martinelli

A Miami federal judge on Tuesday upheld the extradition request for former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli to face political espionage and embezzlement charges in his home country.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled Tuesday at a hearing that a previous federal judge was correct that Panama's extradition request is valid. But Cooke also stayed her decision until Feb. 6 to give Martinelli's lawyers time to file notice of an appeal.

Martinelli, 65, was Panama's president from 2009-2014. He is accused of illegally monitoring phone calls and other communications of at least 150 people using an extensive surveillance system. Martinelli is also accused of embezzling $13 million in public funds linked to the system.

Martinelli has been jailed since his June 2017 arrest at his Miami-area home based on the Panama extradition warrant. He had been seeking asylum in the U.S., claiming the charges are politically motivated.

His attorneys argued Tuesday that Panama's extradition warrant was legally insufficient because it didn't specifically list the key charges for which he is being sought and because of a peculiar retroactivity clause in Panama's 113-year-old extradition treaty with the U.S.

One of Martinelli's lawyers, David Howard, contended that an appeals court ruling in a different case established that an extradition warrant must list at least one charge for which a person can be extradited. The Panama warrant only lists contempt of court because Martinelli did not show up at a hearing, which is not an extraditable offense under the treaty.

"There has to be reference to at least one charge. It refers to none. There is no other way around it," Howard told Cooke.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Fels said the warrant lists the Panama case number that includes the surveillance and embezzlement charges and that the State Department has concluded the warrant passes legal muster.

"Panama would not agree to a treaty that would hamper their ability to extradite fugitives from the United States," Fels said.

Martinelli's attorneys also renewed their claims that the extradition request runs counter to terms of an updated treaty between the two countries involving cybercrimes that took effect in July 2014, after the alleged surveillance offenses were committed. They claim those crimes don't apply to Martinelli because Panama's original 1905 extradition treaty with the U.S. contains a clause saying it did not apply retroactively — and that it remains in effect today.

Fels, however, said that clause was meant only for crimes that were committed in Panama before the treaty took effect in 1905.

"This language basically doesn't have any application anymore," he said.

The next step for Martinelli's attorneys would be to appeal Cooke's ruling to the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. There is no timetable for the appeals court to make a decision.



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Martinelli asks fast bail resolution

Martinelli will get bail decision next week
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A PETITION  to get an early resolution to a motion for bail for ex Panama president  Ricardo Martinelli has been accepted by Judge Marcia Cooke, of the Southern District Court of Florida.

He has been detained in a Miami detention center since June 12, awaiting extradition to Panama to face trial unauthorized interception of communications by the National Security Council during his government.

Delivery to Panama was certified on August 31, 2017, by Judge Edwin Torres and ratified on January 23 by Judge Cooke. That day, she rejected a writ of habeas corpus filed by Martinelli’s defense.

The Miami attorney’s office has already verbally informed Cooke that it opposes the defense request and recalled that Judge Torres ordered Martinelli to remain in federal custody until his extradition. At the time, Torres refused to release the former president, despite the fact that

Martinelli proposed a “package” that, among other things, included the payment of 10% of a $5 million bond and to deliver custody of his private plane, and remain under 24-hour surveillance 24 and wear an electronic bracelet.



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Martinelli moves to avoid detention on return

No triumphal march for Martinelli.
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Panama’s former president Ricardo Martinelli who,  before his arrest and jailing in Miami,  had boasted of a triumphal return to Panama and a cross-country parade to the welcoming cries of his supporters in the CD party is now trying to avoid preventive detention when he arrives under escort to face trial.

While his application for bail in Miami has not yet been resolved, Dimas Guevera one of his battery of highly paid lawyers is attempting a pre-emptive strike and applying for bail when he arrives back on home soil.

The request will be determined on Wednesday, February 7, at a  10 am hearing in the Supreme Court reports TVN News.

The hearing will be attended by the magistrates of the Plenary of the Supreme Court (CSJ),

Martinelli is accused as the possible perpetrator of the crime of inviolability of secrecy and right to intimacy and others,  involving 150 opposition politicians, businessmen and journalists.

The triumphal parade is a non-event, as Martinelli could return in handcuffs and is no longer ruler of the party he created to further his political ambitions. Some of his erstwhile supporters have fled to other fields and even created a new party.

Meanwhile, the latest move will fuel the growing outcry against corruption and impunity. Should he end up in detention in El Renacer prison while awaiting trial, he will find remnants of his old network in a new “inner circle.”



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US prosecutor opposes Martinelli bail

Martinelli in Miami, before his arrest
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AS lawyers for Ricardo Martinelli are trying to head off preventive detention  in Panama by applying for bail for the ex-president when he is shipped back to Panama,  The Miami attorney’s office has filed a brief opposing bail while he is still in the USA.

He has been in a detention center cell since June 12, waiting to be extradited to Panama. The opposition was presented in the name of Jeff Sessions, US Attorney General e, whom Martinelli identifies as one of the defendants in his habeas corpus.

The judge has already spoken against the habeas corpus presented by Martinelli, which gives the green light to his extradition to Panama. The extradition was originally certified by Edwin Torres on August 31. The arguments put forward by prosecutor Adam Fels say there is a “substantial” risk of leakage and there are no special circumstances that justify his freedom on bail.

At a hearing held on  January 23, Fels reminded Judge Marcia Cooke,of the Court of the Southern District of Florida, that Judge Torres ordered that Martinelli remains in federal custody until delivery to Panama. A week ago, Martinelli’s attorneys requested bail from Cooke.

Last year, Judge Torres and the US Supreme Court denied bail to the ex-president, who remains at the Federal Detention Center in Miami.



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Martinelli Panama bail request pulled

Unfortunate pronouncements
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A  bail request submitted to the Supreme Court for ex-president Ricardo Martinelli for when he returns to Panama has been withdrawn.

It had been submitted on February 1 by defense lawyer Dimas Guevara, and the hearing for bail in the “wiretaps case was scheduled for Wednesday, February 7.

The request was withdrawn on February 5.

Martinelli is accused of the alleged commission of the crime of Inviolability of Secrecy and the Right to Privacy, Embezzlement, Abuse of Authority and against  Computer Security and Illicit Association.

While still in office, Martinelli had described Italian judicial investigations into his links to the Finmeccanica bribery scandal as a “soap opera”. The maneuvering of his team of lawyers to avoid his extradition to Panama could be called an escape series.

Another quote that came back to haunt him was the  labeling    of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) as a “Den of thieves.” After his term in office when he fled the country sought refuge in Parlacen, leaving his Panamanian gang of thieves to face the music.

With his recent ousting as president of the party he founded Democratic  Change (CD) he may also regret his boast of returning to Panama for a triumphal cross country parade to be greeted by cheering supporters. It’s hard to raise arms in cuffs.



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Intelligence report fingers Panama suspects

Martinelli sons named in report
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A REPORT released by the  Financial Intelligence Unit of Andorra,  implicating the parents of ex-Presidency Minister Jimmy Papadimitriu has also cast a  spotlight on multiple other Panama companies under criminal investigation.

MECO construction company, for example, is one of the companies that appear in the Blue Apple Case, paying bribes to officials to streamline procedures and disbursements reports TVN.

The president of MECO, Carlos Cerda Araya, owns the Mural del Valle company, which appeared in the Panama Papers. The firm Mossack & Fonseca registered a deposit of $1.7 million dollars to the company from the Bahamas.

The Andorra report  also mentions Monterverde NG Power. In which Rodolfo Barniol Zerega and José Dapelo Benites appear as executives. Barniol, former president of Petroecuador, and Dapelo were accused of being part of a network of corruption in South America that facilitated the granting of oil fields in 2008.

Both Barniol and Dapelo also appear among the directors of LNG Group Panama, a company that would subsidize Panama NG Power and would have been favored with the concession of a natural gas plant in Isla Telfers, Colón, for 40 years.

The contract was denounced by the energy sector since the company would sell energy at a price much greater than the rest of the market. Panama NG Power, whose main shareholder is Alfredo Alemán, maintains a legal dispute with the Public Services Authority. In December of last year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the energy company.

Apollo International is a financial services company that  received, along with Pyramid Financial Group, $8.5 million of the fees charged by attorney Amador Arjona for advice during the tender process of the purchase of Dehydrated Food in the National Assistance Program  (PAN), in  which ex-president Ricardo Martinelli is  facing charges, and in the Cold Chain.

The company People 1-D and Gold Park Investment Inc., also named in the Andorra report deposited money in the Global Overseas account for the purchase of the Panamá América Publishing House, a transaction investigated in the New Business case.

Select Engineering and Consulting, a company associated with Odebrecht, deposited 75,000 euros in an account of the sons of Ricardo Martinelli.



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Martinelli claims he is not a flight risk

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The Ricardo Martinelli “courtroom soap/drama” has entered a new phase as the ex-president’s  lawyers seek to persuade a Florida judge that the ex-president who fled his own country, is not a flight risk.

Nartinelli has been behind bars for nearly eight months and is seeking bail pending his extradition to Panama, where he is wanted in multiple corruption cases.

His Miami lawyer, Marco Jiménez, has requested a hearing to answer any “concern” or “minimal doubt” that federal judge Marcia Cooke may have, after the Miami attorney’s office warned of  “unacceptable risk” of flight if the billionaire ex-ruler is released on bail. The prosecution also maintains that the conditions for a bond are “inadequate.”

The hearing was requested on  Monday, February 5. “If the Court considers that there are merits in these arguments, the President Martinelli would appreciate the opportunity to address these concerns and provide the Court with the guarantees it requires “, says Jiménez.

This would be Martinelli’s second hearing before Judge Cooke. On January 23, the former president appeared before the judge, who then denied a writ of habeas corpus in his favor.

Although that day, Cooke promised that the decision denying the habeas corpus would be formalized – in writing – Tuesday, February 6,   instead it was announced that the document will be

finally released on February 13, in response to a request for postponement by the lawyers of Martinelli (and to which the prosecution opposed).

Martinelli has been detained in Miami since June 12, 2017, pending extradition. His delivery to Panama was certified by Judge Edwin Torres on August 31. That decision that was examined and supported by Judge Cooke at a hearing held two weeks ago.

Martinelli’s two sons and his former private secretary “Chichi” de Obarrio who fled Panama, have outstanding  Interpol red alerts against them.



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Hard to imagine, but Judge Marcia Cooke is letting ex-president Ricardo Martinelli out of the hoosegow in Miami on $1,000,000 bail. He will be confined to home and have to give up his Passport.

I'm guessing he has a few Passports. Time to start wondering which countries don't have extradition treaties with Panama.

Former President of Costa Rica, for example José Figueroa lived openly in Switzerland for years in order to avoid prison at home.


Edited by Keith Woolford
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That is good news. It is amazing this judge grants a $1 million bail when it was requested for $5 million.  $4 million less. Hum, I wonder who got that money?


Edited by TwoSailors
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This is a remarkable turn of events, and quite baffling to me

If he was such a flight risk last June that a shock arrest was performed prior to the announcement of the extradition ruling, it's hard to see what has changed. 

I really don't think he can or will flee, but this is pretty dang strange.

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Martinelli Jail Soap Continues

KEYS to mansion snatched back
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While Ricardo Martinelli’s team of well-heeled lawyers in Miami were preparing the paperwork for his release from eight month’s behind bars, Judge Marcia Cooke, upended on  Wednesday, February 14, the decision to grant him bail for $1 million made the previous day.

The Panama ex-president who was arrested near his Coral Gables mansion on June 12 last year will stay behind bars, at least until a court hears an appeal from prosecutors who consider the billionaire a high flight risk.

An extradition order is based on charges of illegal wiretapping of political opponents, journalists and businessmen. When he returns he will also face numerous corruption charges.

The Embassy of the United States in Panama said in an official statement signed by the judge, Cooke: “Mr. Martinelli will remain in jail.”

Martinelli’s team of attorneys was in the process of doing the legal proceedings to get the ex-leader’s bail order in effect when they were caught by Judge Cooke’s last-minute decision.

Martinelli has described Italian judicial proceedings involving him as a “soap opera”  as  Valter Lavitola,  a central figure in corruption trials related to Finmeccanica and Panama was jailed, released and jailed again.



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Martinelli bail – in or out of cell?

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Miami prosecutors are appealing the decision of  Miami Judge Marcia Cooke to grant ex-president Ricardo Martinelli bail on payment of $1 million cash, but there are conflicting views on whether or not he will immediately leave the cell he has occupied for eight months.

Martinelli’s lawyer Sidney Sitton told Panama America that the judge had recognized high possibilities that the  Atlanta Court of Appeals would grant a  Habeas Corpus and revoke Martinelli’s extradition.

Sitton who informed Martinelli about the decision of his release on bail indicated that the request for emergency suspension of the bail order that the Prosecutor’s Office will ask, does not suspend the freedom of Martinelli.

Panama’s  Foreign Ministry issued a statement that the prosecution appeal would suspend bail granted by Judge Cooke until the appeal was filed with the Court of Cassation of Atlanta circuit



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Corks stay in bottle for Martinelli celebration

LA PRENSA Cartoonist Low's take on Martinelli's dilemme
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ON TUESDAY, February 13, some of the shrinking band of supporters of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli inspired by the fireworks at the end of carnival were engaged in some premature celebration of his release from eight months of incarceration in a Miami detention center.

One of his outspoken allies,  Eduardo Camacho who served as the presidential spin doctor when Martinelli was still ruling “in the shoes of the people” and has since been one of his legal advisors,  even flew to fly to Miami to join his mentor at his Coral Gables mansion.

But the popping of  corks was halted when Florida Judge Marcia Cooke overturned his release on bail, and he will now face more months behind bars while his case goes to an Atlanta appeals court, and his lawyers earn their keep figuring out new ways to block his extradition to  initially face wiretapping  and embezzlement charges, and later, nearly a dozen criminal investigations.

Camacho has long labeled the investigation of alleged corruption ranging from Odebrecht to stock market manipulation via  Financial Pacific as “political persecution”, overlooking the possibility that the door may finally be starting to close on impunity, even for ex-presidents.

His Twitter  reaction was: “After knowing the incredible decision of Judge Marcia Cooke I must conclude that there is no country where the hairy hand of politics does not get involved in judicial decisions Today we understood that the only difference is that some do it in Spanish and others in English,”

 Olga De Obaldía, director of the Panamanian chapter of Transparency International, applauded the decision to keep Martinelli in jail, “Simply because the measure diminishes the risk that he will not face justice when his extradition is finally executed” she said,

In canceling bail for Martinelli  Judge Cooke opined on his flight risk that there would be an “irreparable damage” to American authorities if, after his release, Martinelli was not “available” to be extradited to Panama.

This – added s the judge – would overcome any damage that Martinelli may suffer  “who is already arrested and he will simply remain where he is. ”

Meanwhile, some of his victims are reserving their champagne for the day he appears in a Panama court.



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from Panama Today

EXCLUSIVE Sittón: "Governments of the United States and Panama are interfering with the Department of Justice’s decision"

In an exclusive interview with Panama Today, the lawyer representing former President Ricardo Martinelli said that there is a political interest behind Court’s decision to suspend Panamanian former president request to be released from jail on bail: "We are facing a very atypical situation and if we add that the Panamanian Government has just signed a bilateral agreement with the United States authorizing the US military to wear uniform and carry weapons, it is very worrying, because it seems to be an exchange of favors. Also, the Foreign Ministry sent a letter once the bail was granted, where the Foreign Ministry says it is in communication with the US Government regarding this case."

The jurist also referred to President Juan Carlos Varela’s trip. According to Sittón Varela undertook the trip the same day Ricardo Martinelli was granted release on bail: "The President travels to Washington at night and dawns yesterday (February 14), on a trip whose destination was not notified by the Secretary of State Communication. They did not even officially announce it to the media, but by whatsapp saying it's a private trip and did not inform where he is traveling. But it turns out that he was seen at the State Department in Washington and to this day they have not reported where he is going."

Sittón also questioned the role of the US Embassy in recent days, with regard to Martinelli’s case," once the judge grants in effect suspension the emergency motion filed by the prosecutor, immediately he tweeted that the judge reversed the decision. Moreover, the US Embassy had taken part in a judicial case that was being disclosed in the United States."

Regarding the current situation of Martinelli after the judge decision yesterday, Sittón affirmed that bail is granted by the judge but the facts and effects of his release are suspended until the emergency appeal process is resolved, he is in a  "stand by" situation at this point.


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Martinelli off extortion hook- for now

FIXER Lavitola, Martinelli, and former Italian prime minister, Berlusconi
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An investigation into alleged extortion by former President Ricardo Martinelli, against the Italian company Impregilo, has been shelved by Panama Supreme Court  Judge Luis Ramón Fábrega.

The alleged extortion for which one person has already been sentenced in Italy, related to the failed construction of a pediatric hospital in Veraguas in 2010.

In his  February 15.  ruling, Fábrega. warned that “the present case may be reopened in the event that the response for  judicial assistance sent to Italy reveals  elements that allow the investigation to continue.”

The investigation began after the Embassy of Panama in Italy sent to Panamanian authorities in June 2015 copies of the sentence applied to Valter Lavítola in  Naples, for extorting Impregilo.

Lavítola, who was the intermediary between Italian companies and Panama officials, committed the crime of attempted extortion by threatening, through a third person,  Imregilo, which was to finance the project.

The threat, according to the document of the Italian authorities, was that if  Impregilo did not finance the construction of the hospital, Ricardo Martinelli would issue a public announcement discrediting the quality of the work carried out by the Italian company in the expansion of the Panama Canal. The purpose of the announcement was to affect the value of  Impregilio’s  shares in the stock market.

According to the Italian judges, the initiative to threaten Impregilo came from  Martinelli, who transmitted that message to Lavítola, who in turn “played the role of  “courier.”



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Special cell awaits Martinelli homecoming

Martinelli ruled in biggest corruption years
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A special cell in a National Border Service (Senafront) facility is being prepared to house Ricardo Martinelli when he returns to Panama to face trial according to a spokesman who wants the United States to demand guarantees of respect for the physical and emotional integrity of the ex-president when he is extradited.

In a letter published Saturday, February 24 on social networks, Luis Eduardo Camacho said that “reliable sources” have informed him that, in case of extradition Martinelli would be isolated in a “cell that has been constructed for him.”

This would be an “illegal” situation, as on returning to Panama Martinelli should be released because his arrest was ordered “because he did not go to the hearing to which he had been summoned” for a case of alleged illegal wiretapping of more than 150 people, said Camacho.

The former president, who has been behind bars in Miami  since June 12, would have to be brought before the judge and should be released, “but that is unlikely to happen” because “the fact that a special cell is being prepared in the Senafront tells you that there is a decision taken over what is the law, “said the letter.

“I do not hide my fear, in addition to the illegal situation, I worry about his physical integrity. If they isolate him, we do not know what could happen there.”

Therefore, if extradition is granted and executed, the United States should demand the conditions that guarantee respect for his physical and emotional integrity, “said Camacho.

Martinelli is wanted by the Supreme Court for crimes related to a network of illegal eavesdropping that operated during his Presidency, one of several criminal cases opened against him by the Court , the only one that can prosecute him as he is a member of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), labeled  during his presidential campaign as a “gang of thieves.”

His defense is waging a legal battle in the United States against extradition, which has already been approved by two American judges.

Martinelli, who is facing multiple corruption investigations claims to be a  victim of “political persecution” by his successor and former electoral ally, Juan Carlos Varela, who was his vice president.



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US appeal against Martinelli bail delivered

MARTINELLI a flight risk?

The US  Attorney General, Robert Wilson, has delivered a brief of appeal against an order to allow bail to former President Ricardo Martinelli, to the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, based in Atlanta.

The appeal was promoted by Wilson, represented in the case by Christopher Jackson Smith, lawyer of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, who has accompanied the Miami attorney’s office throughout the process to extradite Martinelli to Panama, to face trial for the unauthorized interception of communications from National the Security Council in his government. The letter was delivered on the night of Wednesday, March  7 although the appellants had until the 26th of March to meet the requirement.  Prosecutors believe that Martinelli, with his wealth and overseas contacts, is a flight risk.

The lawyers Marcos Daniel Jiménez, Jordi Martínez-Cid, John Byrne and David Howard had already communicated with the Court to be recognized as defenders of the ex-ruler. It is the same team that has represented him in the hearings held in Miami.

On February 13, Judge Marcia Cooke, of the Court of the Southern District of Florida, granted bail to Martinelli. One day later, the judge herself suspended the release, after Miami prosecutors and the Department of Justice announced their appeal in Atlanta.

Martinelli’s extradition was certified on August 31 last year by Judge Edwin Torres, also from the Court of the Southern District of Florida, and endorsed by Judge Cooke.

Martinelli will mark hi s9th month in the Federal Detention on Monday, March 12. He was arrested near his luxury mansion in Coral Gables, Miami in June last year.



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5 minutes ago, Moderator_02 said:

The US  Attorney General, Robert Wilson

I do wish Newsroom Panama would do better at proofing their articles.  Robert Wilson is not the US Attorney General; he is an Assistant Attorney General.

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Ex-president ready to return – with conditions

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PANAMA’S former president Ricardo Martinelli is clearly feeling the effects of his nine months imprisonment in a Miami Federal Detention Center.

The man who,  according to his spinmeister, lawyer Eduardo Camacho, is strong and bearing up well under the strain as he fights extradition to Panama, has Tweeted  that he is ready to return  and face trial  According to a La Estrella report,

On Friday, March 9, he said he wanted to return to Panama to “confront the “minotaur” who pursues him politically in a case without evidence…”.

He said: “I have decided that this is like a birth, neither more nor less, that’s why I count the days, hours, minutes and seconds. I don’t see the moment not only to leave this earthly hell (the jail), but to go to my country … “.

Martinelli  in a rambling message spells out details  of  his imprisonment saying  that the food is “horrible and generally expired.”

He complains that the iron and the microwave are damaged and says that the medicines, he receives are generic and do not have the same effect.

The ex-leader, used to being attended  by a team of lackeys complains about his cell routine: “here is someone who does the cleaning, cooking, serve coffee, clean the room and fix the bed.”

He says that he will accept to return to Panama under the principle of exclusivity, according to what the extradition treaty says. In other words, Martinelli seeks only to be prosecuted for the case of illegal wiretapping, for which the Supreme Court requested his extradition.  He faces criminal investigation in six other cases



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to What's Next for Richardo Martinelli and His Family

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