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Martinelli refuses to go to Supreme Court today for his hearing

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 14:41

Diseño sin título (1)_4.jpg

Defenders and plaintiffs in the case of illegal wiretapping against Ricardo Martinelli arrived today at the Supreme Court of Justice to attend the indictment hearing requested by prosecutor Harry Díaz. The former president refuses to appear to this hearing.

Martinelli, 66, notified on his resignation on June 22 as deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) and consequently the case, by which the prosecutor asks for up to 21 years in prison for the former president, leaves the sphere of Supreme and is brought to the ordinary courts.

"He would not voluntarily be taken" to the Supreme Court on Monday, "if he is transferred by force, it would be another violation of human rights and procedural rights," said Martinelli's spokesman and former communications minister, Luis Eduardo Camacho, at the gates of El Renacer, the minimum-security prison where he has been imprisoned since he was extradited by the US on June 11.

He added that "provided that he is requested to appear" he should do so "accompanied by a doctor" given that he has "low" blood pressure because on Sunday he began a hunger strike to reiterate his claim that he is "politically persecuted".

The non-appearance of Ricardo Martinelli to the indictment hearing for the case of illegal wiretapping scheduled for today by the Supreme Court of Panama would set a "bad judicial precedent", said today a Panamanian constitutional expert.

That, in the opinion of the former president and his defense, since last Friday he resigned as  deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) and consequently the case, for which prosecutor Harry Díaz requests up to 21 years in prison, leaves the sphere of the Supreme and is brought to the ordinary courts.

"He has to appear" at the hearing scheduled for Monday by the highest court "because he has to appear; otherwise it will be a bad precedent in Panama’s justice", constitution expert Ernesto Cedeño told Efe.

The expert stated that the current law in Panama establishes that the prison system must persuade the inmate who refuses to go to a hearing, and that if the situation persists "he is driven by force".

Moreover, one of the defenders of the former president, Carlos Carrillo, told reporters at the headquarters of the Court that this Monday he filed a challenge against the presiding judge of the case, Jerónimo Mejía.

Carrillo insisted that Martinelli's resignation letter submitted to Parlacen meets the requirements of form, in response to what was said by the president of the regional body, Tony Raful, that the letter "was delivered without complying with the legal power of attorney," therefore, Martinelli is still a Central American deputy".

"It is necessary to correct this inadequate issue, the resigning  person must legally authorize the person who submits the resignation letter, since the resigning person is under detention," Rafu told Telemetro, adding that Martinelli "is still a Central American deputy".

Martinelli's spokesman and his former communications minister, Luis Eduardo Camacho, said on Monday that the former president "would not voluntarily be taken" to the Supreme Court, and that if he is taken "by force", it would represent "another violation of human rights and procedural rights".

After 10:00 local time (15:00 GMT) the indictment hearing was already an hour late, without clearly notifying the defense or the complainants if it would finally take place this Monday.

"Martinelli must appear and stop these immature attitudes," said the plaintiff's attorney, Carlos Herrera, on Monday at the Supreme Court, while another plaintiff, Ángel Álvarez, said that there must be an "official certification" from Parlacen notifying that Martinelli is no longer a deputy of that body to take the relevant legal decisions.

Martinelli left Panama on January 28, 2015, the same day that he was opened the first of about 10 criminal cases by the Supreme Court, although he can only be prosecuted for wiretapping since he was extradited under the specialty provision enshrined in a bilateral treaty of 1905.

He was imprisoned for one year in a US federal prison because of the extradition request.

The plenary of the Supreme denied last week the change the detention in prison for a house arrest, as requested by the defense, and rejected two habeas corpus in favor of Martinelli.

A plaintiff in the process against Ricardo Martinelli for illegal wiretapping requested today that the former president, who has "barricaded" himself in his cell, must be  taken by force to the accusation hearing, scheduled by the Supreme Court on Monday and that there was no initiated due to his absence.

"We have asked the Magistrate of Guarantees to use remedies such as corporal compulsion to make him appear" at the hearing, which should have started at 9.00 local time (14.00 GMT) but more than three hours later he still did not settle, said the plaintiff attorney, Carlos Herrera, at the headquarters of the Supreme Court.

Herrera, defender of the leader Mauro Zúñiga, one of the more than 100 alleged victims of illegal wiretapping, added that the magistrate judge of Guarantees of the case, Jerónimo Mejía, summoned all the parties to appear again at 2:00 pm local time (7:00 pm GMT) of this Monday to the seat of the Supreme Court.
"We know unofficially that the situation is that Mr. Martinelli refuses, has entrenched in his cell of El Renacer and refuses to appear before this court (...) is literally rebellious," said Herrera.



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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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Judge warns defense on Martinelli “sickness” obstruction  

Sick or actting?
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Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli’s  “sickness” charade earned a warning from a Supreme Court Judge at the conclusion  of a hearing that started over nine hours late on Tuesday, June 25.

It was delayed by Martinelli’s refusal to attend and  his claims of ill health.

Judge of Guarantees Jeronimo  Mejía rejected defense arguments that as Martinelli had resigned from the Central America Parliament the illegal wiretapping case could not be heard by The Supreme Court. Martinelli through lawyer Carlos Carrillo, announced that he would appeal the decision, but Mejía, said that, in accordance with the law in force, the decision,  is not appealable either before him or before the plenary session.

The judge of guarantees also told the battery of defense lawyers that he understands Martinelli ’s right to exercise legal defense with vehemence, but he exhorted them to not become an obstacle to delay the process.

He urged lawyers to inform their client about the stage of the process and that This cannot be delayed due to the fact that he does not take his[blood pressure]  medications.

The former PRD presidential candidate Balbina Herrera,  a complainant in the process, said that the judge’s ruling “is a demonstration that justice cannot be manipulated at the whim of a person”.

Carlos Herrera Morán, a lawyer for  Doctor Mauro Zúñiga, a victim of the wiretapping, said  that the defense received a hard blow, since the process will continue in the Supreme Court

The hearing began over nine hours late, since Martinelli refused to attend the event, alleging that his health condition had deteriorated and that with the presentation of his letter of resignation to Parlacen the Court could not proceed with the indictment hearing.

convoy-300x169.jpgMartinelli was delivered in a van handcuffed and escorted by security agents, accompanied by a caravan of at least five vehicles and an ambulance.

Once the hearing began, the defense told the judge that the hearing

had to be suspended, because his life was in danger after cardiac arrhythmia and high blood pressure had been detected.

The defense produced an electrocardiogram performed by 911 paramedics, that showed according to the lawyer Carlos Carrillo, it his client was at that moment prone to a cardiac arrest, so he asked to be taken to a hospital.

The judge said he did not accept the report, as he had been informed by officials of the Penitentiary System that Martinelli was in good health to be transferred and face the audience.

Mejía said he was informed that since last Friday Martinelli started a hunger strike and had decided not to take the drugs against high blood pressure.

The judge called  the El Renacer prison doctor, where Martinelli has been detained since June 11, after his extradition from the United States.

Doctor Feliciano Eloy Maure, said he was the one who ordered the electrocardiogram in the prison. “I’m not here to **** anyone […] At this moment, there is nothing that compromises his life, “said Maure, and clarified,  that it was not necessary to hospitalize the accused.

Judge Mejía said that it was clear that the former president’s life was not in danger and proceeded with the audience.

The prosecuting magistrate Harry Díaz said that they could not be in each hearing treating the health problem of Martinelli.

Martinelli told the judge  “You do not like me, you hate me, for reasons I do not know, but that does not matter. I wanted to come here. I feel politically persecuted, my rights and my health are violated… They told me that the magistrate wanted me here alive or dead,” said the ex-governor.

Mejía interrupted him and denied any  “feelings of animosity” and that the accused  was taken to the hearing following the protocols of the General Directorate of the Penitentiary System



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Martinelli  defense plays new wriggle card

Jerónimo Mejía
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Ex-president  Ricardo Martinelli cannot be prosecuted for illegal wiretapping of over 150 Panama citizens during his time in office as he has supposedly already been tried on three occasions by the National Assembly, between 2011 and 2013 according to a string of defense lawyers on Thursday, June 28.

The latest gambit comes nearly three years   after  Martinelli was a no-show at his original hearing and spent a year behind bars in a Miami detention center after two different US Federal judges ruled there was sufficient  evidence to warrant his extradition to face trial.

The move came after failed attempts  to get Martinelli  into a private hospital for  “ life threatening” health problems which were discounted by a team of specialists  from the Forensic Science Institute, and the prison doctor at El  Renacer Prison.

The lawyers popped up one after the other to present their case  that the  same facts have already been investigated and filed to the  Judge of Guarantees  Jerónimo Mejía

Martinelli arrived at the Supreme Court of   handcuffed, and wearing a red T-shirt in support of Panama’s soccer team, which played its last World Cup game against Tunisia, osing 1-2

The defense presented several requests for “absolute” nullity, for alleged  and violations of due processincluding the theory of an alleged double judgment.

Carlos Carrillo, lawyer said  that his client was investigated in three occasions by the National Assembly  Credentials Commission  for alleged espionage during his government. Two of the were filed the same day on January 5, 2011, and were  presented by Juan Jované, Alberto Quirós Guardia, Rafael Benavides and others, and another interposed by Carlos Ernesto González de la Lastra and José Ramos, then president and general secretary of the Popular Party,

The third complaint -according to Carrillo- was presented by Luis Ernesto Carles -current minister of Labor and vice minister of that same portfolio in the government of Martinelli-,

Carrillo said, cited Article 32 of the Constitution, which states that no one can be tried more than once for the same criminal, administrative, police or disciplinary case.

Dimas Guevara, another  lawyer of the former president, said that Martinelli cannot be punished for crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, since The Constitution, in article 191, indicates that the president of the Republic can only be responsible for crimes against the international personality of the State or against the public administration. Guevara ignored in his plea that one of the illicit acts of his  client had precisely to do with the public administration, in the modality of embezzlement, reports La Prensa.

When the Court admitted the case, on June 8, 2015 no  authorization was requestedto the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), which -according to the defense- was a requirement for being  able to investigate the then deputy of the regional body.

“The Central American Court of Justice has recognized that Mr. Martinelli has a special prerogative as a deputy of Parlacen “, remarked the defense attorney Luis Eduardo Camacho González.

After listening to the interventions of lawyers Carrillo, Guevara and Camacho González, the Judge  suspended the hearing until Monday, July 2, at 9:00 a.m., so that the parties have the opportunity to examine the documentation provided for the defense to sustain their accusations.



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20 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

Ex-president  Ricardo Martinelli cannot be prosecuted for illegal wiretapping of over 150 Panama citizens during his time in office as he has supposedly already been tried on three occasions by the National Assembly, between 2011 and 2013 according to a string of defense lawyers on Thursday, June 28.

These words are an important assertion by ex-President Ricardo Martinelli, to my way of thinking. Does anyone want to discuss this further, or can anyone confirm that he cannot be prosecuted? That was the basis for his deportation from the US back to Panama.

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On 9/25/2017 at 11:41 AM, Moderator_02 said:

Surely Mr Martinelli would have made sure he was not prosecuted for anything while he was in power.  That covers the time between 2011 and 2013.  If indeed he was prosecuted, what was the verdict?  If he was found guilty, what was the sentence?  IMHO, this is revisionist history on behalf of the exprez.



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Martinelli son loses embezzlement hearing

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The  Martinelli family got another legal set back last week when a judge denied an attempt to quash an embezzlement case against a fugitive son of the imprisoned ex-president Ricardo Martinelli.

the Thirteenth Criminal Judge Alina Hubiedo denied an incident of nullity presented by Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares in the investigation related to the Buko Millionario  embezzlement  case

Luis Eduardo Camacho, the defender of Martinelli Linares, took time off from trying to get the father off the hook in the Supreme Court, to allege that because an anonymous report originated the investigation by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor it did not comply with legal requirements.

The judge – in a June 22 ruling said that  although the complaint was anonymous  it is  no less true  that there was  a possible event in which the State was involved, “by making a concession in favor of Grupo Inversión Mundial, S.A. irregularly and illegally on the subject of televised bingo, called Buko Millionairio.”

The judge added that Article 1992 of the Judicial Code states “that when an agent of The Public Ministry has knowledge by any means that a crime has been committed he, should initiate the summary investigation “.

In the ruling, the judge rejected the other argument of Martinelli Linares, that he has been denied the right to defense.

He said that through his lawyer, Martinelli Linares has presented several legal resources.

In the Buko millionairio case, the prosecution has charged six people for embezzlement. The investigation was reactivated last April, after being paralyzed for two years because of another legal intervention by Camacho.

The defendant and his brother have fled Panama and are on an Interpol red alert list in connection with multiple alleged crimes.



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Since the Supreme Court has deemed hm a flight risk and denied him the privilege of house arrest for the domestic spying charges he's facing, former President Martinelli is asking for some improvements to his living conditions at El Renacer prison including:

  • Microwave oven
  • Large Water Dispenser
  • Hot Water Heater
  • 45" TV
  • Cable and Internet
  • Computer
  • Blue Ray Player
  • Desk
  • Window Blinds
  • Dehumidifier
  • Housekeeper

Hahaha  ? ? ?


Edited by Keith Woolford
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“Sick” Martinelli  hearing recessed

Ailing Martinelli and lawyer-caregiver
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The Supreme Court Prosecutor Harry Diaz and lawyers representing victims in the proceedings against former President Ricardo Martinelli, for alleged illegal wiretapping, and embezzlement asked the judge of Guarantees Jerónimo Mejía, to reject the nullities presented by the defense of last Thursday during the third-week continuation of the intermediate audience.

The plaintiffs’ reply is based on the fact that the requests for annulment come from the continuing delaying tactics over years by the defense. The prosecutor and the plaintiffs asked the judge of guarantees to take measures to enter the phase of the discussion of evidence of the accusation against the ex-president.

Health Card
Martinelli entered the courtroom wrapped in a ‘pashmina’. shawl.  His lawyers said he had stomach pains and that the previous night he had a fever. The former president was seen by a doctor who prescribed medications to allow him to attend Monday’s hearing which was delayed for nearly an hour.

After listening to the parties, the judge decreed a recess until further notice as they await further medical examinations at Santo Tomas Hospital that were scheduled for Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.

Martinelli’s health had been declared stable by a team of specialists from the Forensic Science Center, but his wife continues to complain that he needs treatment in a private hospital.



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Next hearing will decide on nullities presented by Martinelli defense

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 01:22

After receiving the incidents of nullity on the part of Ricardo Martinelli's defense on Thursday, June 28, the hearing continued on Monday, with the Presiding Judge Jerónimo Mejía, who gave way to the arguments of the Prosecutor's Office and the plaintiffs' attorneys.During the act they requested that each of the nullities filed by the defense be rejected as they consider that they have already been discussed and also extend the stage of accusation.

"The incidents of invalidity of the defense of Mr. Martinelli lack all kinds of constitutional and legal basis, in a few words in our opinion are part of a strategy that seeks to delay the process to be diluted and try to reach the prescription terms. They are absurd, crazy nullities," said the plaintiff lawyer, Carlos Herrera Morán, at the end of Monday's hearing.

For defense lawyer Carlos Carrillo the nullities are totally correct, "An investigation that was not aditted by the National Asembley (AN) in 2013 and later filed wants to be reopened. It can not be that every five years the judicial proceedings are unknown. If this continues, in the next stage of debugging the tests you will realize the barbarities that we are going to have to exhibit. I hope that the Court puts an end to this, admits quickly that it has no competence (in this case) to stop these vices."

Meanwhile, in the name of Martinelli's defense, Luis Eduardo Camacho González announced that they would lodge a complaint against Panama if Martinelli's immunity as a member of Parlacen was not respected, "depending on the decision made, we will go to the Central American Court to sue Panama because the precedents already exist. The lawsuits include the hearing cite, a precedent of Martin Torrijos (former president of Panama). It is an excuse that the Panamanian State has already used and that the Court has overthrown."

Nicomedes Castillo, another of the plaintiff’s lawyers reiterates the need for speed in the process, "one of the functions of the Presiding Judge is that the parties act with procedural loyalty and good faith. We have seen that within the defense of the Mr. Ricardo Martinelli, although it is true that it is a right, there is a series of nullities that have already been decided both by the Plenary and the Presiding Judge ".

The hearing went into recess because former president Ricardo Martinelli said he had stomach problems. To this the performance of a series of medical examinations authorized by the Court is added and that will take place during this week.



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"Meanwhile, in the name of Martinelli's defense, Luis Eduardo Camacho González announced that they would lodge a complaint against Panama if Martinelli's immunity as a member of Parlacen was not respected, "...

What? He recently tried to resign from Parlacen, although he was not successful because he did not follow proper procedure. This gets nuttier and nuttier. Martinelli is trying anything and everything to escape justice. I sure hope he doesn't succeed.

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Martinelli moved to private hospital for new  health test

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Former Panama President Ricardo Martinelli has escaped the confines of the El Renacer penitentiary, for the comfort of a bed in a private hospital, according to his legal team, while the hearing into his alleged wiretapping while in office has been suspended.

He was transferred on this Wednesday, July 3, to the Paitilla Medical Center. According to his wife, Marta Linares, the former president was taken to the center to be placed in a device that measures cardiac pace.

The lawyer, and Martinelli spokesman. Luis Camacho, said that the placement of the device will mean Martinelli  Martinelli will three or four days.



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Martinelli's defense knew that the 6 nullity appeals were going to be denied

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 15:07


The 6 appeals for annulment presented by the defense have been denied by the judge of guarantees Jerónimo Mejía. The resources are based on the admission of the case, the accumulation of the complaints, the imputation, electoral criminal jurisdiction, double trial and parliamentary immunity, which according to the magistrate had not been sufficiently substantiated by the legal team of the ex president. Jerónimo Mejía today determined that "The phase of previous allegations is over, we will go to the examination phase of the accusation," and the hearing will resume on Monday, July 9 at 9 A.M.

At the beginning of the hearing was immediately reported by the lawyer Holanda Polo that his client Ricardo Martinelli had a medical appointment at 1pm to remove a cardiac device and another dental appointment at 2:30 pm to attend due to a broken molar.

As soon as the hearing began, Judge Mejía did not accept the participation of Yassir Purcait and deputy José Luis "Popi" Varela as plaintiffs in the "wiretapping" case because the claim is untimely, since they failed to present their application in time to the prosecutor's accusation in the 5 days that they had stipulated. The decision was made by the magistrate at the beginning of the hearing, where the lawyer Jaime Abad replaced Angel Alvarez in the representation of Purcait and the lawyer Rubén Castrejo who represented Popi Varela. "Mr. Yassir Purcait and Mr. Jaime Abad are not accusers in this room, I ask you please to withdraw them from the team or group of accusers as you decided" said Sidney Sitton, to which the judge Jerónimo Mejía said " In fact, since this is the decision, the defense is also entitled when it says that people should not be on the bench as intervening parties, I ask them very respectfully if they can sit with the public." "José Luis Varela was left out of this case, Yassir Purcait was left out of this case, they have nothing to say because they are not part of it, literally the magistrate took them out of the room," said defense lawyer Sidney Sittón.

"The defense did not present any documentation with which it could be proven that in fact, it had been communicated to the Court before the criminal case was admitted that Martinelli had electoral criminal jurisdiction", "The use of a law of 2007 with retroactive effects with the purpose of including the impossibility of being investigated is not possible in our constitutional system "," The motion of nullity based on an electoral criminal jurisdiction is denied "," The charge of double judgment consists basically that according to the defense, during the at the time that Martinelli was president, three complaints were filed for facts that the defense alleges are similar or equal to those that have been the object of investigation "," Once a sentence exists it is impossible to re-judge the person for the same acts " , "The issue of nullity based on double jeopardy is also denied", "In none of the arguments did the defense state what Martin's immunity consisted of elli "," The complainants confirmed that the Central American Court of Justice does not have jurisdiction to force Panama to do anything "," No Panamanian deputy before the Central American Parliament has, for a case to be tried in his country, any immunity ", "I deny this nullity based on a jurisdiction that does not exist or an immunity that does not exist based on the status of parliamentarian of Parlacen," these are the main declarations that magistrate judge of guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía said at the hearing.

According to Ricardo Martinelli's defense attorney, Carlos Carrillo, the appeal of the appeal for double judgment is the supreme court that has to rule on the appeal. "I grant Mr. Carrillo the appeal of the decision I have made and you will have to process your resources in accordance with what the law establishes," said Jerónimo Mejía. It is necessary that a judgment be issued to be rejected as a double judgment. The hearing ended around 12:30 pm to attend the medical appointment at 1 p.m. at the private medical center Paitilla- to have the holster checked to monitor his blood pressure. And at 2.30 p.m. the ex president has an appointment with the dentist for the subject of the tooth that was broken.

The plaintiff lawyer, Mitchell Doens declared that they are nullities that can not be sustained, external justice has nothing to do with national justice. This is just dilation of the process, and with the violation of rights, they will continue to delay.
The four victims who have left the complaint, they as victims will continue to participate, they did not comply with the law of presenting their case in the 5 days requested to enter the process, that is why they are out of this case.

Nicomedes Castillo, in turn as plaintiff, stated: "All the nullities presented by the defense have been denied, the decision of Judge Mejía has been well established and substantiated, the date of the accusation stage has been set for Monday. hand in hand with the prosecution, and that we enter the stage of accusation that is what interests the victims.
Regarding the Things Judged  resource to appeal the subject of things judged, does not stop the process of accusation. It affects the cause of the complaint the exit of Poppy Varela and Furcao, did not present in the required date of the presentation of the complaint.

Luis Eduardo Camacho son and defense lawyer commented "We knew that this was going to happen, there are no guarantees for Ricardo Martinelli  and these are serious decisions." One of his decisions, said that the court has no budget and therefore the court did not comply with We will take the actions, I will go before the Central American Court of Justice to take the offense."

Those who have to protect the law, can not do their obligations because they have a lot of work, that is inconceivable, with respect to the statements of Judge Mejía "This case had several volumes, that 9 magistrates read those volumes in 10 days without neglecting the remaining obligations is very difficult, consequently the nullity requested is denied. "

They declared the nullity of a file because they had already been investigated in another case, of Harry Diaz with Judge Mejía. I will go to the inter-American court, cited a ruling that the deputies have parliamentary immunity, in the procedure did not touch the process of Martin Torrijos if he was respected parliamentary immunity. Mejía contradicts himself, he does not take it into consideration, he uses it in what suits him, in the case of Martin Torrijos' 2013, Panama can not investigate the former president.

We have magistrates with fear of the president about what happens, since he has one year left, to make decisions in law not what a person wants.



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Judge nixes 7 Martinelli defense  moves

No playing to crowd
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Judge Jerónimo Mejía, acting as judge of guarantees,  has denied the seven “absolute” nullity applications filed by the battery of defense lawyers of ex-President Ricardo Martinelli, in his Supreme Court wiretap and embezzlement hearing.

Martinelli appeared handcuffed and no longer playing to the crowd. He was wearing a hidden mobile device to monitor his heart rhythm, something often used on patients who are later fitted with pacemakers. During the ruling, his wife Marta shouted at the judge.

Mejía methodically analyzed, each of the requests in which they opposed the complaints presented by prosecuting magistrate Harry Diaz and the complainants.

One denied nullity request was that related to the alleged lack of imputation.  Mejía said he did not understand the defense’s approach, which alleged that Martinelli was to be notified personally

“The lawyers lose sight of the behavior of Mr. Martinelli Berrocal as if that behavior did not have any kind of repercussion, “said Mejía. He referred to an interview with the program Café de CNN in Spanish, broadcast on November 4, 2015, in which the former president stated  clearly his intention not to return to Panama and said he had a team of lawyers with ample powers to represent him,

Also , “there is the table provided by the fiscal magistrate Harry Diaz, in which a breakdown of all actions made by the defense: requests for a copy, nullity, file, violation of the due process, among others, which shows “that the defense learned of everything that t happened in the Court from the beginning of the investigation.”

Mejía added that “there are innumerable evidences that Mr. Martinelli resigned that right of personal defense. This is demonstrated by his departure from Panama, leaving a large team of lawyers to notify him, because he was going to follow his personal agenda which meant enjoying life, and his political agenda, which was to do opposition to [Juan Carlos] Varela]. That is inferred from his manifestations on CNN ”

He also recalled that Martinelli left voluntarily from Panama on  Jan. 25 2015, “knowing that there were several criminal proceedings, including the present … It was a personal decision of Mr. Martinelli to stay out of the scope of Panamanian justice for almost three years, it being necessary to extradite him “.

Therefore, Mejía considered that “to flee and, after being extradited, to ask the canceling of the process, is a nonsense. ”

The magistrate judge also considered that it is not appropriate to annul the process because of alleged violations to the electoral penal jurisdiction and to “immunities and privileges” that -according to the defense-Martinelli showed by having been a deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).

The Judge of Guarantees denied the 6 motions of nullity filed by the defense but admitted the appeal announced against his ruling denying double jeopardy.



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MEDIAWATCH: Rope shortens for Martinelli

Martinelli reads a book while judge rules
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Fleeing the country, joining Parlacen, a body he had famously labeled a “den of thieves” skulking in Miami while he called investigations of disappearing millions of dollars “political persecution”, and playing a series of health cards has not helped former  Panama president  Ricardo Martinelli or his team of highly paid lawyers.

Some members of his former inner circle, facing numerous charges of pilfering the national treasury are similarly fighting to avoid their day in court, while some, like their leader, have fled the country. They must now be considering that the wheel has begun to turn and that impunity is no longer the rule, even for those at the top of the dung heap.

La Prensa, – which has played a major role in unveiling many of the crimes perpetrated by Panama’s elected “leaders,”- in its July 5 edition, sums up the ruling of the previous day, that may send some more malefactors scurrying for the exit doors.

La Prensa writes:

The baritone voice of magistrate Jerónimo Mejía flooded the courtroom while one by one fell the incidents of nullity of the technical defense. Here there was not a Felipe Baloy who scored a goal of honor.


Harry Diaz

The ant work of the prosecuting magistrate, Harry Diaz, and the recognized plaintiffs, made a dent in the defense’s containment wall.

The session began with the determination of who would be the intervening parties in the process. Mejía had to pronounce the difficult decision, at the request of the interested parties, that the group of plaintiffs represented by the lawyer Ángel Álvarez would not intervene in the process, due to the extemporaneous nature of its incorporation into the case. This does not mean that they stop being victims since they continue to maintain their rights to claim compensation for the alleged violations of their privacy. The implication is only procedural: they cannot question or argue within the process.

The highlight of the audience was offered by Mejía when responding to each of the nullities requested. Some were merely formulations invoked, as part of a judicial ritual.

But three of the requested nullities are extremely serious: the lack of imputation, the double trial and the limitation of prosecuting a President of the Republic for crimes mentioned in the Constitution.

In the most important of these nullities – the controversy over ‘absence of imputation’ – the magistrate Díaz made an important contribution to the analysis of Mejía, with the CNN interview in which Martinelli claimed he would not return to Panama and that he had a team of lawyers representing him in all his legal cases.

Mejía explained in detail why the system of special trials of the Criminal Procedure Code does not require imputation to the deputies since the legal situation of impunity could be given if the investigation was not done because a deputy evading justice could be absent from the imputation hearing. Mejía’s elaborate argument included mentions of Colombian jurisprudence and the doctrine of international specialists, supporting the criterion of the decision. Mejía was not speaking only for this hearing, but for the Court of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, shielding the decision against any possible appeal before that international tribunal.

Now the first background exercise of this case begins the list of tests of all parts. After which, Mejía must make a decision: grant a dismissal or raise the case to trial before the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice.

Martinelli, 66 , who could face up to 21 years imprisonment will not be sleeping well.



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Lots of opinions about an impending decision of the Supreme Court which could help Martinelli at the expense of justice, including this zinger from Cardinal José Luis Lacunza, the Bishop of David.

"It's necessary for (Panamanian) justice to wear it's big boy pants in order to confront something this crucial."

"Es necesario que la justicia se ponga los pantalones de mayor de edad para afrontar algo que puede ser decisivo", indicó el Cardenal Lacunza.


Edited by Keith Woolford
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Transparency concerns as judges maneuver

Martinelli carries a book into court (not the Bble)
Post Views: 156
Transparency International and the Panama Episcopal  Council have both expressed concerns about the latest move by the battery of defense lawyers to get the illegal spying  case  of former president  Ricardo Martinelli out of the hands  of the Supreme Court (CSJ)

The Foundation for the Development of Citizen Liberty (The Panamanian chapter of Transparency International)  has appealed to the magistrates of the Court  to act with “impartiality, independence and probity” when deciding on a appeal for the defense, which seeks to take away the competence of the court in the case  for supposedly spying on at least 150 people.

“Fail in favor of what was argued by the defense of  the former president, would be against the  common meaning of the law but, above all, it would be against justice and

would destroy the little confidence that citizens already have regarding the institutional framework of the Supreme Court of Justice, “the foundation said in a statement.

The Panamanian Episcopal Conference considered that “It is urgent that the justice system consolidate its impartiality, their opportunity to judge and their legitimate autonomy “.


Enriquez Perez

If the Supreme Court of Justice declines the file would remain In the hands of the sixteenth criminal judge, Enrique Pérez, who has handled several cases involving figures close to the Martinelli administration.

One of these investigations is, the investigation of the ex-directors of the Board of  The National Security Council  Gustavo Pérez and Alejandro Garuz for allegedly spying on communications of about 150 people. The hearing, which is scheduled for September 3, has been suspended six times for appeals filed by the defense of the accused.

Fugitives Ronny Rodríguez and William Pitti, ex-agents of the Council, are also investigated

Perez is also the judge who, in a ruling of November 2017, ordered a dismissal in the case against ex- Martinelli Minister Giselle Burillo,  for alleged irregularities in the contracting of electric plants.

The Sixteenth Criminal Court is also in charge of the case for alleged anomalies in the purchase of dehydrated foods through the now-defunct National Aid Program (PAN) for $14.5 million.

Giácomo Tamburrelli, ex-director of the PAN, and Rubén De Ycaza,  representative of Lerkshore International, the supplier company, among others. are investigated in this criminal case

Pérez is the judge of the long drawn out fraud case involving the ex-governor of Coclé Richard Fifer for an alleged fraud of Gold Dragon Capital Management.

Pérez also absolved the former Social Development Vice Minister Zulema Sucre, in the so-called Gucci case. Sucre was being investigated for the alleged commission of the crime of embezzlement, after her ex-escorts accuse her of assigning tasks unrelated to her duties, such as taking her dog for a walk. His decision is under appeal.

On Wednesday there will be an extraordinary plenary session of the Court, to discuss whether it admits or not the protection presented by the defense of the former president to take away the competence of the Court. The speaker is Judge Oydén Ortega.


Ayu Prado and De Leon

Last Thursday, the plenary dealt with the case but did not reach an agreement. Judicial sources reported that Judges Hernán De León, Efrén Tello (Deputy Luis) Ramón Fábrega) and Asunción Alonso Mojica (substitute of José Ayú Prado) would promote a project of failure in which the plenary would decline jurisdiction and order the referral of the case to the Sixteenth Criminal Court, as Martinelli requested reports La Prensa.



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Panamanian businesspeople demand Supreme Court's impartiality in case Martinelli

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 21:45


Panamanian businesspeople demanded today the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) to set position impartially and independently on its competence to prosecute former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014).

The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP), Gabriel Barletta, told his union "Be watchful before Transcendental Decision of Justice" in a statement a few days before the CSJ decides whether or not it has jurisdiction to judge Martinelli, after he resigned from the Central American Parliament.

"The attention of the country is once again focused on the performance of our institutions, this time on account of the decision that the Supreme Court of Justice finally adopted regarding its jurisdiction in the case of the former president of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli," says Barletta in his statement.

What happens is that by being a member of the regional parliament since 2014 in his capacity as former president, Martinelli was prosecuted by the highest court, but a few days ago he resigned that seat and his lawyers now demand that his case is brought to an ordinary court since Martinelli is an ordinary citizen.

The CSJ plenary will hold an special meeting next Wednesday to decide whether to admit an "action for the protection of constitutional guarantees" against the decision of the Supreme Judge Jerónimo Mejía to maintain jurisdiction to prosecute Martinelli and to reject his resignation to the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).

The former president, extradited from the United States last June to stand trial for illegal wiretapping during his term, asked Mejía to stop prosecuting him and to annul the case, but he rejected all appeals in that regard last Thursday and the audience will continue tomorrow.

The trial is in the stage of indictment.

One of his lawyers announced the appeal before the plenary session of the Court to define whether former president’s prosecution can continue.

"The plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice has a transcendental decision in its hands because it will set a precedent, with respect to the jurisdiction where the case in question must be handled, in order to comply with the due process allowing him to be judged respecting the rights of all parties," said Barletta.

He also supports the Episcopal Conference of Panama, which called for "the justice system to consolidate its impartiality, its opportunity to judge and its legitimate autonomy." Those who exercise justice must punish those who violate the law fairly by applying the penalties proportional to the crime committed and its specific circumstance, avoiding impunity, corruption, authoritarianism, discretion and revenge".

While defending due process, the leader warned that "equally the national patience is on track to be exhausted by the completion of obstacles that thwart the work of justice and pave the way to shameful impunity, decisions that may even be favorable for the defendants".

Barletta vindicated the right of all Panamanians "to make their opinions felt on issues of importance, such as the one expected to be defined by the Supreme Court of Justice, with a sense of Society and Nation.

Martinelli is being held in El Renacer prison, outside the capital, since he was extradited from the US, where he was imprisoned for one year because of the extradition for the case of illegal wiretapping.



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Martinelli hospitalized last night, today's audience is on hold until doctors news

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 12:33

Diseño sin título (12).jpg

Magistrate Jerónimo Mejía is waiting for the medical report from the officials of El Renacer, after Ricardo Martinelli was hospitalized yesterday night at the Santo Tomás hospital due to high blood pressure and arrhythmia presented after the long accusatory hearing held yesterday.
The hearing expected today at 9:30 am was resumed at 12 p.m. but suspended until further information regarding the ex president health condition. The defense complaints that the judge had a medical document staying that Martinelli can't be exposed to long hearings due to his delicate heart and blood pressure conditions, and yesterday's audience was all day long. Defense and his wife are afraid of Martinelli's possibility of sudden death due to the stress and pressure of the trial.
According to his spokesman Luis Eduardo Camacho,  they are willing to kill him, we are warning the state department. This morning his wife Marta Martinelli did not know his status because they don't let her get in the hospital to see him.


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11 hours ago, Marcelyn said:

Sorta wonder just how many of Martinelli’s “health issues” are real and serious. ?

I don't think you can fake a cardiac rhythm disorder.   Serious?  Who knows.  His **s is in a crack  right now.  Maybe he wants to spend the rest of his days in the Punta Pacifica Hospital penthouse room.  Either way ...not the retirement I'd want.

Edited by Brundageba
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11 hours ago, Moderator_02 said:

"... his delicate heart and blood pressure conditions..."  Hummm,  it wasn't reported that he had those "conditions" while in prison in the US, and he compared prison in Panama "5-star" compared to the conditions in the US prison.

Now he refuses to take blood pressure medications. Why? Could it be because he doesn't HAVE high blood pressure? And if he does, and refuses to take the medication, he should not be allowed to leave the trial and be taken to the hospital.

He and his sleazebag lawyers are trying every delay tactic in the book. What a waste of taxpayer monies and a waste of the court's time and resources! Get him in prison already!

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Judge reprimands Martinelli defense stalling tactics

Jerónimo Mejía
Post Views: 173
The magistrate judge of guarantees Jerónimo Mejía rejected three new ploys by  the defense of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli and issued a reprimand for lack of procedural loyalty and delay of the hearing on Monday, July 9.

The prosecuting judge, Harry Diaz, read for an hour his indictment against  Martinelli for illegal wiretapping. and embezzlement for which he is asking a 21-year jail term and announced the presentation of 74 proofs testimonials and documentaries, among which he highlighted interviews with President Juan Carlos Varela and former members of the Council of National Security, among others.

At the end of the hearing, Martinelli’s defense presented a warning of unconstitutionality against the fourth paragraph of the Article 347 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Mejía denied the appeal because it was untimely and because it was already judged.

He said that the defense disrespects article 18 on procedural clarity and 63 on the duties of judges. Then he sent a message to the defense:

“I urge you that from now on you present situations that are worth discussing “.

He sustained the indictment against the former president.

The private accusation of Rosendo Rivera, victim and former lawyer of Martinelli was also read into the proceedings.

Earlier, Judge Mejía denied three incidents of alleged violations of the human rights of Martinelli

In the first Roniel Ortiz, defense lawyer said that notes handed over the US Marshals who extradited Martinelli were in English and were never translated. Judge Mejía ruled  that it was not demonstrated that the non-translation of these documents constitutes a violation of the human rights of the defendant,

Then Ortiz argued that his client was denied any communication an ex officio defender was not appointed. Mejía concluded that it does not represent a violation of the rights of Martinelli.

The third incident raised by Ortiz alleged that Martinelli, because of his position as President must be in the custody of the Protection Service Institutional (SPI), and not the General Directorate of the Penitentiary System.



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

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