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Victims urge trial upon Martinelli’s arrival in Panama

Sat, 06/09/2018 - 18:57


Alleged victims of illegal wiretapping during the Administration of Ricardo Martinelli urged the authorities that after Martinelli’s extradition from the United States to Panama he stands trial pursuant to law.

Former Panamanian President Ernesto Pérez Balladares (1994-1999), one of the victims of wiretapping, told Acan-Efe after Martinelli's extradition announcement that he was awaiting the news, and that it was only a matter of formalities to resolve the different appeals filed by the lawyers.

"Martinelli's defense withdrew the appeals, so it was clear that the original decision of extradition was going to be filed, and it was just a matter of the formality of the US Department. They lacked time, but they wanted to do it promptly and thus it has been done," said Pérez Balladares.

The member of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) stated that the former president and founder of the Cambio Democrático party, should never leave the country to first flee to the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) and then to take refuge in Miami (USA) where he was arrested on June 12, 2017.

"There is a statement that says “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”. If he (Martinelli) believes that he did not commit any crime, or that accusations are false, he should have stayed in Panama and faced justice as any citizen; when he left, he demonstrated that  the accusations are true, which means that he is afraid of facing something pursuant to our laws," said the politician.

He said he is not afraid that the trial against Martinelli for illegal wiretapping will fail, so he urged the authorities to respect the institutions and laws.

"The Judicial Body must see what it is going to do and I hope that institutions and laws are respected, the trial continues upholding the guarantees, and that he be deemed innocent or guilty in accordance to our laws," said the former president.

The former presidential candidate of the PRD, Balbina Herrera, told Acan-Efe that she only asks the national authorities to "do what they have to do, nothing else but what the Constitution and the law establish".

Herrera said that "Nobody can take from Ricardo Martinelli the year he spent in custody in Miami," and said that at least through his time in prison some justice has already been done.

The opposition member said that "there is always a before and after; this is an example for any president; nobody is above the law or the Constitution," Herrera said.

Meanwhile, the party founded by Martinelli, Cambio Democrático (CD), expressed their "complete" support and asked that his right to have "full defense" be respected.

Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela confirmed this Friday that the US Department of State approved the extradition of his predecessor in office, which is required by the Panamanian justice system for a case of illegal wiretapping affecting more than a hundred opponents.

Varela ruled out Martinelli’s arrival this Friday, although the defense of the 66-year-old former president states that his return is imminent.

Martinelli, who left his country in January 2015 and after several months of unknown whereabouts settled in Miami, said that he is a victim of political persecution by Varela and has at least a dozen pending court cases in Panama.



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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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Panama’s Alcatraz for Martinelli?

Punta Coco
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Fears that former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli may again skip the country to avoid potential long jail terms has prompted calls for his preventive detention, even in Panama’s Alcatraz as soon as he returns on Monday, June 11.

With stories circulating on social media of proffered bribes of $13 million by the billionaire,  victims of spying, practiced by the National Security Council (CSN)are asking the Supreme Court to follow through on the detention ordered by the full Court on December 21, 2015. 10 days after the judge of guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, declared him “in absentia” for not appearing at a prosecution hearing.

The lawyers of the complainants presented a petition for the full summons of the court to a hearing in the 48 hours after the arrival of Martinelli, in order to order his preventive arrest.

Carlos Herrera Morán, lawyer of the doctor Mauro Zúñiga – another victim of the CSN-, said that the plenary should call a hearing to inform Martinelli of the four charges against him and keep the detention. Considers it appropriate to maintain the preventive arrest as he has resources that would allow him to leave the country, as he once did, and should even, consider that he be sent to the Punta Coco maximum security prison, known as Panama’s Alcatraz.



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Ricardo Martinelli is received in Panama surrounded by his followers support and human rights violation complaints

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 10:46

Diseño sin título (27)_0.jpg

Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, extradited to Panama today by the US will be taken to El Renacer, the prison next to the capital where former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega was imprisoned (1934-2017), reported today the Ministry of Public Security.

After performing "a general medical evaluation by qualified professionals", in a place not specified "Martinelli will be taken to the prison 'El Renacer', where he will remain in the custody of the Directorate General of the Penitentiary System of the Ministry of Government (Mingob) , at the disposal of the competent authorities ".

The US Government "made formal delivery in Panamanian territory" of Martinelli "today at 8:44 am (13:44 GMT)" with arrival at Panama Pacifico airport.

The Government stressed today that the extradition of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli to Panama for the four crimes for which it was requested followed the "normal process" under the bilateral treaty and now it is up to the Panamanian courts to determine his guilt or innocence.

"His case followed the normal process of extradition under the bilateral treaty and US law and was managed in accordance with applicable legal procedures," the State Department said in a statement.

Last Friday, June 8, the US government gave the green light to the extradition of the former Panamanian president, which occurred early today, just as attorney Sidney Sitton gave us an exclusive preview of the official documents.

Martinelli, who has been detained in a federal prison in Miami for 1 year, returns to Panama for health reasons, according to statements made by his wife Marta Martinelli to the local press at the Panama Pacifico airport on his arrival. she complained that she was not allowed to enter to receive her husband and that she did not believe in the legal process and added that many things will happen at the trial.

"The Foreign Ministry has behaved very badly because it has not given the information to the lawyers or relatives, you know that he has the right to have his lawyers when he arrives on Panamanian soil," said the former first lady. "They will not let us in, I can not even use the airport bathroom, we're going to stay here until they let us in. They are orders from the Foreign Ministry and the Security Council, which do not show up," he added.

"We do not want him to go home, we want him to go to a hospital because he has a heart condition, he has 3 stens, he has not seen a cardiologist in 18 months and he needs it. his health, because the lawyers told him that he would almost certainly win, "he concluded.

Martinelli's lawyer, Inna Shapovalov, warned on May 30 that if the former president was handed over to his country's justice, there was the "possibility" that he would be treated inhumanely, that he would be "tortured" by the authorities and would not Due process will be respected.

"It is up to the Panamanian courts to determine the guilt or innocence of Mr. Martinelli for the charges for which he was extradited," the note signed by Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for the State Department, added.

The defense referred to an invocation of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to justify its opposition to extradition.

However, the government of President Donald Trump said the decision to extradite him does not contravene US obligations. under that convention and suggests that it may be that the meaning of the word "torture" used by the defense is not that which contemplates that convention or that "it is more likely that it is not tortured" than it may be.

Of the 25 cases pending, only 5 remain in force, and can only be processed in Panama for the issue of the "tapping" case, according to statements by lawyer Sidney SIttón.

This morning and surrounded by supporters who support the former president will be held a hearing that will reach Ricardo Martinelli where should be the full magistrates, who will listen to the parties and decide on precautionary measures for Martinelli, have explained the lawyers in statements to Acan-Efe.

It is expected that in that hearing Martinelli's defense appeals to his chronic health conditions to request a precautionary measure other than preventive detention, a request that the prosecutor will maintain, according to the analysis of local jurists.


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Family reunion as Panama moves on Martinelli sons

Martinelli sons,on the run
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With ex-president Ricardo Martinelli behind bars in El Renacer prison awaiting Panama’s tortuous  judicial process to creep into action the Foreign Ministry  has already initiated the first steps in bringing his two sons back to Panama  for a family reunion  and to face money laundering charges with over $22 million frozen in European Banks and a luxury apartment seized in Madrid and a helicopter seized in the US and held in Panama.

The extradition process for   Ricardo and Luis Martinelli Linares means  “they will have to suffer the same fate and we will see what their lawyers have to say”  said  Foreign Ministry vice-chancellor Luis Miguel Hincapié.

It will depend on how many stalling resources they present. “We notify the embassy, they send the papers to the State Department which is the Foreign Ministry of the United States, and from there they send it to the Department of Justice, “said Hincapie.

Political Persecution
Panama’s former  first lady Marta Linares de Martinelli said  Monday, June 11 that the rights of her children have been “violated” and that, as in the case of her husband, they are victims of “political persecution” by the Government of the current president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela.

In January 2017, the Panamanian Prosecutor’s Office laid money laundering charges against the Martinelli brothers and one month later asked Interpol for an international search and capture.

The Panamanian Justice validated last December the agreement reached between the Prosecutor’s Office and Odebrecht, which includes the payment of a fine of $220 million and the filing of the case in Panama against the company and its former directors in the country for having collaborated in the investigations.

During the hearing to validate the agreement, the Public Prosecutor’s Office revealed that André Rabello, who headed  the Odebrecht operations in Panama for several years confessed to having paid more than $80 million to officials and Panamanian individuals, of which  $55.8 million went to the Martinelli brothers.

They are also named in an investigation of a TV gambling scam.



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Martinelli will be in jail during the trial process in Panama

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 13:58

Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) will stand trial for illegal wiretapping for which he was surrendered to Panama by the US on Monday, after being under custody for one year in that country because of an extradition request.

Martinelli, 66, broke into tears on Monday night when Presiding Magistrate the case of wiretapping Gerónimo Mejía informed him that he will continue to be jailed in El Renacer prison, where he was taken after landing in Panamanian territory and the same prison where former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega served sentence (1934-2017).

Mejía recalled the decision of the plenary session of the Supreme Court on December 21, 2015, when Martinelli's "provisional detention was ordered as a precautionary measure" in response to the "flight risk", and that it was not for the sole purpose of extradition, as it has been interpreted by the defense, the magistrate said.

The trial against Martinelli for illegal wiretapping during his term (2009-2014) involves four crimes that can be punishable up to 21 years in prison.

"I'm simply not in good medical condition" to remain in jail, Marinelli told the judge detailing his heart disease and even probable prostate cancer.

Before the argument of the defense that the former president suffers from a chronic heart condition, Mejía said that this Monday he would order authorized doctors to assist Martinelli in jail, and that if they certify that "he is in an emergency situation, his transfer to a health center will be authorized”.

He clarified that this transfer to a hospital would not mean a substitution of the precautionary measure of preventive detention, a decision that can only be taken by the full court, Martinelli’s defense attorney Sydney Sittón told Efe.

"I feel very offended because all my rights have been violated," Martinelli said in court. He had already loudly claimed that in jail, where he arrived without his lawyers and without prior notification to his relatives.

The detention in a federal jail in Miami (USA) was conducted "to comply with the treaty (bilateral extradition), not to consider it as a precautionary measure," said Mejía.

The US Department of State approved the extradition of Martinelli under the specialty provision enshrined in a bilateral treaty of 1905, which means that the former president will only be tried in his country for the case of wiretapping, one of about 10 criminal cases that has been opened by the Supreme Court.

Earlier during the expression of support for Martinelli

Hundreds of people stayed outside the Supreme Court of Justice in Panama City to express their support for Martinelli. The arrival to Panama of the former president caused a demonstration of supporters. "It means a renewal for the country, a real change," said Elizabeth Arrieta.

"Today is him, tomorrow it can be my mother, my father because there is no justice in this country. This is just what Varelism wants and the people who accompany him," said Marilin Montenegro, referring to the rule of law in Panama.

Beatriz de Domínguez is confident that Martinelli will be released from prison, "I believe in the innocence of former President Martinelli, that's why I'm here."



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Martinelli upsets judge refuses medicine, medical examination

The judge is not amused
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Ex-President Ricardo Martinelli has refused to be evaluated by specialized personnel of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf), as ordered by Supreme Court Judge Jerónimo Mejía,

It is the latest  bizarre twist in the process against  the former  ruler who is  facing charges that could lead to a 21-year jail term, and Mejía, the Judge of Guarantees  who ordered the examination is not amused.

Martinelli  is  charged with the crimes against inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and against public administration (embezzlement).

Sidney Sitton, Martinelli’s lawyer, indicated that the refusal of his client  was because  his lawyers were not present.

That was not to Mejia’s liking: “We are waiting for these reports … It will be clear that the order I gave to be evaluated, is going to be fulfilled. And the lawyers they must tell their client  that there is no such thing as  ‘if my

lawyer is not present, they do not evaluate me’, “said the magistrate.

“I am sending him to  be evaluated for his health.in ensuring that Mr. Martinelli is assured of his health, but I am also interested in the cooperation of whoever claims that his  health is in question, be fulfilled … It’s very easy to say ‘I feel bad’, but not let it be attended to. I’m preventing it from becoming a subterfuge, “he added.

Mejía made the statements during an act called to take a statement from

Leonardo Labrador, doctor in charge of the El Renacer rehabilitation center, who received Martinelli at the Tocumen airport, when he arrived from the United States on Monday, June 11. That same day, Labrador did a “complete examination” of Martinelli in El Renacer. In his statement, he said that at one point, the former president refused to take a pill that It would have helped his blood pressure stabilize. Labrador was, in addition, the doctor who communicated to Mejía, on Monday night, that Martinelli had a hypertensive crisis and should be hospitalized. At that time, the former president was examined by three cardiologists, which Labrador identified as doctors González, Méndez and O’Neill,

The defense also asked Mejía to “notify” the full plenary hearing request to review the precautionary measure of provisional detention.

“That’s not my competence … He’s making me his errand boy,” said the judge to Sitton.

Prosecuting  magistrate Harry Díaz informed Mejía that the victims of the “punctures” and their plaintiffs’ attorneys have been attacked by apparent sympathizers of Martinelli. Balbina Herrera, for example, was hit with a bottle of water on her neck. Diaz said that a plaintiff lawyer did not even want to go to the hearing on  Tuesday, because he fears for his security. Mejía indicated that he will take measures.

“I also have an obligation to guarantee the rights of the victims,” the judge said. The hearing, which was called for 10:00 a.m., began at 1:28 p.m. At 2:44 p.m.,

Martinelli is prosecuted for the unauthorized interception of at least 150 people –

between politicians, trade unionists, journalists, members of civil society and businessmen-, from the National Security Council, in the last two years of his mandate.

Magistrate Harry Diaz acting  as prosecutor in the case accuses the former president for the supposed commission of four crimes: interception of telecommunications without judicial authorization; monitoring, prosecution and surveillance without judicial authorization; embezzlement. Díaz asks for a 21-year prison sentence.



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Stressed Martinelli moved from jail to hospital

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Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli is in intensive care in   Santo Tomas public hospital suffering from high blood pressure hours after being returned to El Renacer prison.

Ángel Cedeño, the hospital director said: “We have him hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit, in stable condition and in the same room where Manuel Antonio Noriega was.”

He pointed out that Martinelli had a big stress condition and that stress is the worst enemy of blood pressure.

Martinelli, extradited from the US after a year in a Miami detention center is facing trial for illegal interception of communications of 150 politicians. journalists and businessmen, Judge Harry Diaz acting as a prosecutor, is asking for a 21-year jail term.


El Renacer prison

In a two-hour hearing, on Monday evening June 11 Martinelli claimed that his rights were violated as he reeled off a list of medical problems and demanded that he be moved to a private hospital  Supreme Court judge of Guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, ordered him to remain in detention at El Renacer prison.

Martinelli who on his arrival at El Renacer,  waved and shouted from a barred window  to media over a 100 meters away, and arrived at the court in an upbeat mood giving a v sign with upraised arms to waiting supporters.

He told the judge:  “All my rights have been violated here. I have serious heart problems, I suffer from tachycardia, you can see me well, but at any moment I can get stuck, I have serious problems to urinate and I have glaucoma, I probably have prostate cancer ”

The judge cross-questioned a doctor produced by the defense, who had examined Martinelli only once at the prison,

martinelli-sick-1-300x187.jpgAfter Martinelli’s pleas seemed to have failed he relapsed with his head in his hands and appeared to be in tears before being sent back to El Renacer.

But at about 10:30 at night a tweet from the lawyer Sidney Sitton alerted media that Mejía had backed down ordering that Martinelli be taken to the public hospital.

Mejía had quoted the report o four doctors who evaluated Martinelli, after his arrival in the country earlier in the day and ordered that he be evaluated by doctors from the Institute of Legal Medicine.




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Martinelli  from cell to hospital “status” room

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Former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli remains in a Santo Tomas (HST) intensive care room, guarded by police not because of his high blood pressure, but because of his “status” and continues to receive visitors and consult with his lawyers after a series of made for TV events that have many critics doubting his health complaints and giving  his  “feeling ill” performance in a courtroom  a soap opera rating.

According to an HST source, Martinelli is in the intensive care unit not because of his medical condition, but because the room allows proper security and privacy for a figure like a former president.

A similar situation  occurred with former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega when he received medical attention in the same room

After a hearing on Monday night, June 11 at which Martinelli,  arrived smiling and waving to CD Party supporters, whose activities included bottle throwing at victims of his illegal wiretapping. Martinelli spoke passionately about his medical condition which had apparently not caused concern to  US authorities during his year in a Miami detention center while a team of lawyers fought to block his extradition.

martinelli-sick-300x187.jpgIn spite of his head- in-hands symptoms the judge of guarantees Jerónimo Mejía ordered him transferred to El Renacer prison, where he would be held because of the danger of absconding.

He was later moved to  the ICU at Santo Tomas Hospital  (HST) apparently suffering from hypertension after refusing medication

At the second hearing on Tuesday, called so a doctor could explain the many ailments Martinelli claims to have, the judge was told that Martinelli had refused a Forensic Institute examination.

The judge, relatives, and lawyers went to Santo Tomas to check his condition and to verify irregularities claimed by his lawyers.

He finally submitted to a forensic examination, the results are awaited by the Court.

His lawyers said that they were prevented from seeing their client in the hospital and that when Martinelli was transported on a gurney to another room for medical examinations of the heart, he was heavily guarded by more than 10 police officers, which was unnecessary.

cops-santo-300x169.jpg“They have kidnapped my client, the hospital is militarized,” said Sidney Sitton, one of Martinelli’s lawyers.

“We have not been allowed to see Martinelli, if we have done some exams we do not know what they were, everything that is happening is by order of President Varela,” said the former lady and wife, Marta de Martinelli.

Complainants in the case against Martinelli, describe the alleged diseases and illness as a ‘strategy’, so as not to appear before the courts.

“We have seen a Mr. Martinelli very happy when he arrived in Panama, but immediately he arrives at the  court all the ills that he didn’t have in the United States appeared he is not the victim, the victims are us, respect us, “said Balbina Herrera, one of the150  victims of the alleged illegal surveillance

Another plaintiff, Michel Doens, said that what they want is to make him look like a political persecuted. “A series of dilatory actions is presented, for the effects that make him appear as a victim,” he said.

Carlos Herrera Morán, the lawyer of one of the victims, said he is concerned with the debate on precautionary measures.

“This is a man with a lot of economic power, who has political power that can easily corrupt justice,” he added.


Mario Martinelli

Martinelli was visited at Santo Tomás hospital, by his lawyer Alma Cortés, and his brother Mario, both facing corruption trials and the president of the Assembly, Yanibel Ábrego.

Cortés said that Martinelli fears being poisoned in the hospital.

The complainants said they have been assaulted by supporters of Martinelli

The former president is under the control of the Penitentiary System, an entity under the umbrella of the Ministry of Government.

The source adds that on Wednesday  Forensic Medicine  Institute  staff carried out  examinations corresponding exams, but the results are unknown.



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Extradition request for Martinelli sons in American hands

Isabel Saint Malo
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The extradition request for Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, sons of the ex-president Martinelli investigated for the alleged money laundering linked to the Odebrecht bribery scandal is “in American hands” said Panama  Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel Saint-Malo on Wednesday, June 13.

“It’s up to Panama to wait. We have already fulfilled the request of the Public Ministry Public to process the request for extradition and we have to wait for the United States to analyze, review the documentation and do what they have to do” she said.

So far the official whereabouts of the Martinelli Linares brothers are unknown, although it is presumed they are in the United States.

De Saint Malo de Alvarado told Panama media  that a few weeks ago the Ministry  processed the application they had received “several months ago”, because when it  first arrived they could not continue with the process because the sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli had criminal electoral jurisdiction as they were running for office in the CD Party. [a ploy that delays court action  used by a number of  high profile CD  members facing corruption and embezzlement charges]

“We had to wait for the Electoral Tribunal to lift that jurisdiction. The moment it was lifted, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began the evaluation of the documentation to make sure that it met all the requirements”  she said.



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Martinelli's defense requests new hearing while prosecutors claim he is still at risk of escaping

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 15:57

Diseño sin título (12)_1.jpg

Alleged victims and plaintiffs in the case against Ricardo Martinelli for the illegal wiretapping, affirmed today that there is still a risk of escaping and therefore the former Panamanian president must remain detained in a jail in Panama, where he was extradited by the United States last week.

"There is a risk of escape," said Balbina Herrera,  the Panamanian politician and one of the alleged victims of the illegal wiretappings, upon her arrival at the headquarters of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), where on Tuesday began a hearing to review the measure precautionary detention applied to Martinelli.

Herrera, member of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), maintained that the victims who have joined as plaintiffs in the case of the wiretappings "we are not going to flight away, we faced the situation, the only one who left this country was Ricardo Martenilli Berrocal. "

The former president, extradited on June 11 by the United States for this case, also arrived at the judicial headquarters, wearing the shirt of the national soccer team and raising his hands in greeting of victory to the local press and cameras located in the place.

"My profession is to be a persecuted polititian," said the former president to the magistrates, during the presentation of those attending the hearing, as indicated by the judicial procedure.

The hearing on Tuesday, June 19 was requested by the defense of the Panamanian president (2009-2014), which seeks to change the precautionary measure of provisional detention, issued by the plenary of the Court in December 2015 based on the possible risk of escaping so Martinelli can confront the process of his case in freedom.

Martinelli, who was imprisoned for one year in a federal prison in the United States because of the extradition request, is being held in El Renacer, the minimum security prison located outside of the Panamanian capital, which also accomodates some ex-employees of his Government (2009-2014) prosecuted for corruption.

Among the arguments that the defense demands is the release of the former president because of his health situation, since he suffers from a series of chronic conditions, including hypertension, for which he was hospitalized for several days in a public hospital in Panama city.

Martinelli faces a penalty of up to 21 years in prison for the 4 criminal charges , including  the case of illegal wiretapping of more than a hundred opposition members, journalists and businessmen, according to an indictment filed in October 2015 by the prosecutor, magistrate Harry Diaz.

The Panamanian Supreme Court has already set for June 25 the indictment hearing against Martinelli for the case of the illegal interception of communications, after Judge Díaz requested that proceeding on the 11th.



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Martinelli trusts Panamanian justice and he will prove his innocence

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 21:15

Diseño sin título (32)_0.jpg

Former President Ricardo Martinelli said today that he came to Panama, extradited by the United States, because he trusts in Panamanian justice and because he considers that he is innocent of the case of illegal wiretapping of which he is accused and for which he is prosecuted by the Panamanian Supreme Court.

"I wanted to come to Panama to face this case to prove their fallacies. I am completely innocent, I have nothing to do with this," said Martinelli before the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) during a hearing requested by the defense to change his preventive detention by house arrest.

Martinelli added that he is going to prove his innocence in the whole series of "groundless cases invented against me” and therefore, I state "I came to restore my name, my reputation, all the time I lost because they have slandered me, they have insulted me, they have closed all my accounts. I have absolutely nothing".

He also said that he is " not  fool" nor does he intend to evade justice, "I want to confront this case before the Panamanian people," and warned that if the prosecution has more than 70 witnesses "they will see what we have." 


Photo: EFE

The former president said that he returned extradited under the specialty provision to be prosecuted only for the case of wiretapping, but that, he stated, "I could have been left in the US until the end of Juan Carlos Varela’s Government."

He added that he thinks that there is a "mysterious influence" behind his case.

He also stated that during the year he was imprisoned in Miami he was locked up "like a dog without being able to read, but I stayed like a man", and considered a five-star hotel El Renacer prison, where he is detained after his extradition, in comparison with his "confinement" in the United States.

Martinelli insisted on his innocence, during the intervention authorized by Judge Hernán De León who presides over this hearing, highlighting that "this is a political proceeding to politically disqualify me" in the framework of the general elections of May 2019.

Regarding his health condition, one of the arguments of his defense to request the change of preventive detention by house arrest, Martinelli said he does have problems but he unknows who was the person who said he has prostate cancer.

Likewise, the former president said that his doctor has told him that he is at risk of suffering from another type of cancer, which he did not specify, so he asked that he be "considered" because he is a 66-year-old person.

Likewise, Martinelli stated that all his rights have been violated since in his case they "skipped" the imputation phase to accuse him directly.

After the intervention of the Panamanian former president, the plenary of magistrates declared an approximately three-hour recess to decide on the request of the defense.

Martinelli's team of lawyers argued that the conditions that led to the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice to decree in December 2015 the provisional detention as a precautionary measure against the former president changed, including the flight risk.

The defense again made use of arguments such as that the former president has not been formally charged, or that once he appeared before the Panamanian Justice, the condition of rebellion that led the Court to order his provisional detention ceases.

Martinelli faces a penalty of up to 21 years in prison for the 4 criminal definitions that involve the case of illegal wiretapping, according to an indictment filed in October 2015 by Prosecutor Harry Díaz.

The Panamanian Supreme Court set for June 25 the indictment hearing against Martinelli for the case of the illegal wiretapping, after judge Díaz requested that proceeding on June 11.


Photo: EFE

PANAMA CITY (PANAMA), 06/19/2018.- Marta Linares, wife of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, spoke with the press outside the Supreme Court of Justice today, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Panama City (Panama ). Martinelli said today that he came to Panama, extradited by the US, because he trusts the Panamanian justice and because he considers he is innocent of the case of illegal wiretapping of which he is accused and for which he is prosecuted by the Panamanian Supreme Court. "I wanted to come to Panama to face this case to prove its fallacies. I am completely innocent. I have nothing to do with this," said Martinelli before the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) during a hearing requested by the defense to change his preventive detention by house arrest. EFE / Bienvenido Velasco



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Apparently while Martinelli was incarcerated in the US, he didn't have any of the "health problems" that mysteriously cropped up as soon as he stepped foot into Panama. This is a ploy all the high-level criminals use as their "stay out of jail" card.

A doctor claims that stress is a big problem with hypertension. Martinelli didn't claim stress while incarcerated in the US, even though he says, "...during the year he was imprisoned in Miami he was locked up "like a dog without being able to read, but I stayed like a man", and considered a five-star hotel El Renacer prison, where he is detained after his extradition, in comparison with his "confinement" in the United States.


Edited by Dottie Atwater
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Martinelli's hearing set for June 25

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 17:41

Diseño sin título (20)_0.jpg

The Supreme Court of Justice announced Friday that the indictment hearing against former President Ricardo Martinelli was set for June 25. Martinelli is currently detained, to stand trial for alleged wiretapping, according to the Judicial Branch (OJ).

This hearing, requested by Attorney Harry Díaz, "would continue the proceeding opened on December 11, 2015, where the statute of limitations for the criminal action was suspended, after declaring the accused in absentia," says a statement released by the Judicial Branch.

The indictment hearing against Martinelli is framed within the case of alleged commission of crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and against public administration.

This hearing will be held in the courtroom of the Second Supreme Court of Justice of the Panamanian Supreme Court, which must prosecute Martinelli given his status as a deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).

Martinelli arrived on Monday extradited by the US to face a case of illegal wiretapping during his term (2009-2014) that involves 4 offenses punishable with up to 21 years in prison, according to the indictment.

The former president was taken to El Renacer, the minimum security prison where former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega was held (1934-2017), because of the provisional detention as a personal precautionary measure issued in December 2015 by the plenary of the Supreme Court, said on Monday the presiding judge of the case, Jerónimo Mejía, during a "hearing of notification of rights".

After that hearing, Martinelli, 66, was taken to the Santo Tomás public hospital for a medical examination due to a hypertensive crisis.

The former president returned to El Renacer prison Thursday, after being discharged from Santo Tomás hospital because of his stable condition.

The Supreme Court of Panama will hold a hearing next Tuesday to consider a defense request in favor of Martinelli to change the preventive detention measure to a less severe measure.




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Martinelli stays jailed after Supreme Court hearing

Premature victory wave
Post Views: 160
In a unanimous vote, Panama’s Supreme Court rejected attempts by  Ricardo Martinelli  lawyers  to change  his preventive detention in El  Renacer prison to house arrest

The decision was made after evaluating two key points: the health status of the former president and the request of the defense to count the time Martinelli spent in a Miami Federal Prison pending his extradition.

On the first point, Judge Luis Mario Carrasco said, the defense only alluded once to the health status of his client. The plenary analyzed the reports provided by the defense in which the doctors determined that the ex-president could continue his treatment on an outpatient basis.

On the second point if he is found guilty and sentenced “the court will not be indifferent, to commuting commute the time spent in prison awaiting extradition.”

Accused of four charges that accumulate potentially 21 years of prison (inviolability of secrecy, right to privacy, fraud, and embezzlement of public funds), Martinelli spoke at the hearing repeating  three times that he is innocent, and that “this is a  manufactured case”

He appeared in court dressed in jeans,  and red shirt of the national soccer team with the number 11 on the back and sneakers. He held his handcuffed hands above his head in a victory gesture to applause from his supporters inside the courtroom, including family members and several deputies of the Democratic Change party, which he founded.

Six high profile lawyers represented Martinelli. Magistrate Harry Díaz is prosecutor

the Prosecutor’s Office objected to the request of the defense. “There are no new circumstances for the change of measure to be admitted,” said Díaz.

He reiterated that the prosecution has not opposed the health review of the former president, but recalled that the physicians of Forensic Medicine concluded that the patient’s condition is “stable” and that he could continue treatment from jail.

Díaz said he did not know what new circumstances. had been presented. “The defense has turned white rice into a paella, they have touched many issues that do not have to be brought … It is not the first time the defense tries to make a manipulation or affect the process for a health problem of Mr. Martinelli. (…) We were told prostate cancer and we know now that it is not true and we point out that for humanitarian reasons Mr Martinelli. Will not be denied health care”, said Díaz.

He added: “I have to warn Mr. Martinelli if someone has recommended that I can be bought or intimidated, that person is a bad advisor, and I tell you clearly that we are operating under the law and that it is very clear, “said Diaz. “Enough conviction elements have been raised to prosecute the Former President Martinelli, with the investigation that was done, it would have been impossible to present an accusation had it not been for the extraordinary work of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office (…), where clear evidence was received from people whose privacy has been raped,” he said.

“I came to recover my name, my reputation and everything I have lost and I will prove my innocence and prove that they have invented unfounded cases because they have slandered me,” said  Martinelli.

Black hand
He added that when he decided to desist from the process in Miami, it was because he wanted to submit to Panamanian justice.

“If all my rights are violated, what can the people expect? What is at stake now is justice …  I will sue all those who have slandered me. I am innocent and I will prove it.”

Martinelli added that there is a “black hand” behind the process that is followed and again assured that “I am innocent, this is an armed process to disable me.”



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The games continue.

So now Martinelli is trying to quit Parlacen, the Parliament of former Central American leaders which he himself once called "a den of thieves". This ploy is so that he will be tried by someone else other than the Supreme Court, which he thought he had bought and paid for years ago, but is not behaving to his liking now.

One can see the anger in him rising even as he is writing a simple communication

The note of resignation by the way, is worthless, since it wasn't witnessed by a senior official of the Detention Center.




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Your understanding and following of Martinelli’s situation is much more extensive than mine since I’m a “almost newbie” in Panama. Seems you and Dottie Atwater in Volcan have this man/situation figured correctly. And I agree with your analysis.

Perhaps in some parts of our world, Martinelli would be termed a trickster. My question is how long can this behavior last, and what will be the final outcome?

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Panama says letter of resignation of Martinelli to Parlacen must be authenticated

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 14:14

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The Panamanian government affirmed today that the letter of resignation to the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) signed by former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli must be authenticated, through a process that includes the signature of the director of the prison where he has been held since he was extradited by the United States last 11th of June.

Spokespersons and lawyers of the former president reported on Thursday that Martinelli signed the letter of resignation to the deputation of Parlacen, which would result as a consequence in the case that he faces at the Supreme Court for illegal wiretapping go to the ordinary courts, and that it would be delivered this Friday at the headquarters of the regional entity located in the capital of Guatemala.

Official sources explained to EFE on Friday that the defense of the former president presented the letter to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday, but that it did not meet the requirements necessary to be authenticated and thus had validity abroad.

Martinelli's lawyers "were already told about the correct procedure", and "have not yet returned with what is needed," said the source consulted by EFE at 09:20 local time (14.20 GMT) this Friday.

The Ministry of Government published a statement on Friday in its social networks saying that "no documentation" linked to Martinelli "that requires the authenticity established by the procedures" had been submitted to the Directorate General of the Prison System.

"The administrative procedure requires that this kind of documentation issued by a detained person (...) with legal effects, must be certified by the director of the prison center where the detained person is," said the official letter.

It added that the General Directorate of the Prison System "has confirmed to the Department of Authentications and Legalizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the note sent by the prisoner Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal, for use abroad, does not bear the signature of the director of the Prison Center El Renacer and does not bear the signature of the Director General of the Prison System".

He is being held in preventive detention in El Renacer, a minimum-security prison located on the outskirts of the Panamanian capital, a precautionary measure that the plenum of 9 magistrates of the Supreme Court unanimously approved last Tuesday in a hearing requested by the defense to promote Martinelli's house arrest.

Martinelli, who says he is politically persecuted by the current Panamanian government, faces a penalty of up to 21 years in prison for the 4 criminal definitions involving illegal wiretapping, according to a brief filed in October of 2015 by the prosecutor of the case, Harry Díaz.

A source from the Parlacen told EFE that the resignation letter written by former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli to the Parlacen has not been submitted and said that since it is an international organization; it should be channeled through the foreign ministry of Panama, that will deliver it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala and this in turn to the regional entity.

"For a person close to Martinelli or one of his lawyers to submit this resignation letter personally does not have any validity", it added about the resignation of the former Panamanian president, who is being held in a prison in his country since June 11, when he was extradited by the United States.

Spokesmen and lawyers of the former president indicated on Thursday that Martinelli signed the letter of irrevocable resignation, which would bring as a consequence that the case that he faces before the Supreme Court for illegal wiretapping go to the ordinary courts.

The former 66-year-old president, is temporarily detained in El Renacer, a minimum security prison located outside the Panamanian capital, since he was extradited under the specialty rule provided for in a bilateral treaty of 1905, it is to say, he will only be able to be judged in Panama for the illegal wiretapping case, one of the near 10 criminal cases that the Supreme Court has opened.



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Martinelli flees from “den of thieves”

Martinelli playing to his audience
Post Views: 332
IN HIS latest attempt to avoid or delay justice Panama’s former president Ricardo Martinelli on Thursday, June 21 announced his “irrevocable” resignation as a deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) that when running for president he had presciently labeled a den of thieves.

He now has charges waiting in the wings of robbing hundreds of millions of dollars from the people in whose shoes he claimed to stand

The move comes four days before the Supreme Court is due to hold the intermediate hearing to formulate the charges of illegal wiretapping and embezzlement with the prosecutor, Judge Harry Diaz asking for a 21- year jail term. while Martinelli continues to play the clown at court hearings with manacled hands held up in a victory salute to his band of supporters, a performance he avoided when appearing before US judges in Miami as he maneuvered to avoid extradition and return to his Coral Gables mansion.

It comes also after the two writs of ‘habeas corpus’ in favor of Martinelli were rejected by the court.

“I would not want anyone to violate my privacy”: Martinelli wrote  to the president of Parlacen, Tony Raful Tejada.

He also wrote to the interim president of the Court, Hernán De León, to inform him about his resignation and demand that the process be moved to the ordinary sphere.

The Foreign Ministry also announced Thursday that it had received a letter from the ex-ruler, but warned that before giving it a formality, it must meet several requirements.


Parlacen swearing in after fleeing the country

Martinelli was sworn in as a Parlacen deputy on July 1, 2014, only 16 hours after he was left without immunity after leaving the Presidency, and fleeing the country.

The resignation letter has also gone to Judge Hernán De León, president of the Supreme Court of which asking  him to move  the jurisdiction of his case to the Sixteenth Criminal Court, that in  September will hold the ordinary hearing of Alejandro Garuz and Gustavo Pérez, two ex-directors of the National Security Council – which was chaired by Martinelli – for the alleged commission of crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy.

“I have taken the decision to resign from my parliamentary seat in Parlacen because, as everyone knows, I am suffering from a political process where I am in a state of defenselessness, which has been evident with the result of the Supreme Court of Justice not recognizing me I was detained by the USA [United States], by order of the Court, “Martinelli said in a letter to his relatives from El Renacer prison, where he  has been held since  his extradition from the United States on June 11, and after a failed attempt to convince the court of his ill health.

on Monday, June 25 Martinelli must face an intermediate hearing requested by prosecuting magistrate, Harry Diaz. In this act, the magistrate would formulate the accusation against Martinelli for the alleged commission of the crimes of inviolability of secrecy, and embezzlement.

Díaz will also ask the magistrate judge of guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, to call Martinelli to the final oral hearing and asks a 21-year jail term.



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

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