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Second Forensic medical exam for ex-president

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Jerónimo Mejía, The Magistrate of Guarantees, in the Ricardo Martinelli illegal wiretapping case suspended the hearing on  Tuesday, July 10, and ordered a second examination by medical specialists from the Forensic Science Center after the ex-president was a no-show on Tuesday, July 10. The 9.30 am hearing had been adjourned until 3 pm.

He had been taken the night before to  Hospital Santo Tomas with reported high blood pressure, but on Tuesday was reported stable and ready for medical discharge.

His wife. Marta Linares and his lawyers lay the blame for his “stress” on the judge.

During a year in a detention  center in Miami, there were no reported incidents requiring  hospital treatment

On Monday, Harry Diaz the prosecuting magistrate after reading the indictment called for a 21-year jail term for Martinelli who complained of feeling unwell a couple of hours later.



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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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Court rejects Martinelli constitutional ploy

Martinelli claims rights abused
Post Views: 129
The Plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), in extraordinary session on  Wednesday, July 11, did not admit an amparo of constitutional guarantees presented by the defense of ex-President Ricardo Martinelli against a decision of Judge of Guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía

Mejía’s decision, in a June 25 audience established that the Supreme Court would maintain competence in the illegal wiretapping case l, despite the fact that Martinelli had resigned from the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).

For the legal team of the ex-president, the Supreme Court has no competence after the resignation from Parlacen so the case that must pass to another court.

The former president should face   A Supreme  Court hearing on Thursday, July 12, but. Ii is still unknown if it will be carried out as Martinelli was transferred to Santo Tomás Hospital on Monday evening to receive medical treatment for supposed high blood pressure and arrhythmia.  Judge Mejia has ordered a re-examination by a team from the Forensic Medical Center that earlier ruled him stable

In this judicial act, two actions would be heard  appeals against and June 25  and July 4 decisions by Mejía,

Judge Harry Diaz,  as  prosecutor, in his indictment  called for 21 years imprisonment for Martinelli for the presumed commission of the inviolability of secrecy and right to intimacy and different forms of embezzlement

The intermediate hearing to Martinelli was suspended on Tuesday until the judge gets the report of the Institute of Forensic Medicine and the treating physicians.



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21 minutes ago, Moderator_02 said:

The Plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), in extraordinary session on  Wednesday, July 11, did not admit an amparo of constitutional guarantees presented by the defense of ex-President Ricardo Martinelli against a decision of Judge of Guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía

The "Sick Card" is about the only thing left in this guy's hand. He's going down.

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2 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

The Sick card is about the only thing left in this guy's hand. He's going down.

I agree. Too bad Martinelli can’t muster a little dignity and stop the “sick card” defense.

Believe he expected a different type of welcoming in Panama.

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No doubt Martinelli thought he'd skate through this whole thing unscathed. Now I imagine he's plenty worried. What a great thing it would be for Panama to see him behind bars for 21 years!

And they continue to go after the many other crooks. Good going, Panama!

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Supreme Court rejects appeal and will resume Martinelli's indictment hearing on Monday

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 14:35


The plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) of Panama rejected an appeal on double judgment to former President Ricardo Martinelli for the cause of illegal wiretapping, whose hearing of indictment will resume next Monday, the highest court announced today.

"Next Monday, July 16, 2018, at 9:30 AM, will resume accusation hearing to deputy of Parlacen, for the crimes of inviolability of secrecy and right to privacy, in the Hearing Chamber of the Second Court Superior of Justice, of the CSJ ", informed this Friday the Judicial Body through its Twitter account.

The hearing was suspended on Monday because Martinelli was hospitalized again due to chronic hypertension problems and long hours of hearing and doctors prescribed rest for 48 hours. The ex president's wife and defense have been warning about his state of health and presented medical documentation that prevents him to be exposed to long sessions because of his condition that are affecting him a lot and fear for his life. They fear for his life.

 The defense of former President Ricardo Martinelli withdrew from one of the appeals filed in favor of the former head of state before the plenary of the Panamanian Supreme Court, in the case that continues against him for alleged illegal eavesdropping during his term (2009-2014), reported the Judicial Branch (OJ).

The OJ indicated in its Twitter that before the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice, acting as the Court of Appeals, Martinelli's defense withdrew an appeal against the decision of the magistrate of Guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, not to be prevented in the case, "whenever the Plenary spoke on this matter".

The plenum of the Supreme Court met to also hear an appeal that goes against a decision issued by Mejía on July 4, 2018, dismissing a nullity alleged by the defense of alleged double trial of Martinelli.

The fiscal magistrate, Harry Diaz, asked the Plenary of the Supreme Court to confirm the action of Mejía last 4 July, which rejected the nullity alleged by the defense by double trial of Martinelli, deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).

The hearing to attend these appeals began after noon, but the plenary session of the Supreme Court decreed a recess to resolve the appeal.

Martinelli's defense has filed several appeals in favor of the former president that have been rejected, but they said they will exhaust all possible avenues.

This Wednesday, the plenary session of the Supreme Court, in an extraordinary session, dismissed an amparo of constitutional guarantees against the decision of the judge of Guarantees to maintain the competence to prosecute Martinelli, despite the fact that he claimed to have renounced the Parlacen.

The Judiciary also reported that the plenary rejected an appeal on double-judging by listening, in a new setback for the defense, which argued that in this case, Martinelli had been accused before Parliament when he was president.

The plenary session determined that the case that now "concerns does not bear any relation to the cases of the National Assembly referred to by the defense."

The Panamanian law establishes the President of the Republic and the Justices of the Supreme Court can only be investigated and prosecuted by the Parliament, while the legislators can only be investigated and prosecuted by the judges of the highest court.

The defense argues that the resignation of the former president to the post of deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), at the end of last June, automatically removed the cause of listening from the sphere of the Supreme and transferred it to ordinary Justice.

However, the magistrate judge of Guarantees determined on June 26 that the highest court maintained the jurisdiction to prosecute Martinelli because "he was undoubtedly deputy" of the Parlacen when the indictment was presented against him on October 9, 2015.



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Supreme Court rejects latest Martinelli gambit

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After a six-hour discussion, The Plenary of Panama’s  Supreme Court unanimously rejected the latest appeal, by  former President Ricardo Martinelli against the Judge of Guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, leaving the road clear for his wiretapping hearing to continue with the prosecutor calling for a 21-year sentence.

Carlos Carrillo, attorney for Martinelli, alleged that in 2011 the National Assembly dismissed three lawsuits over illegal telephone interceptions. One of them to the detriment of Juan Jované, Alberto Guardia and others; another complaint filed by the then president of the Popular Party, Carlos Ernesto González, and a third brought by Luis Ernesto Carles (who served as Labor Minister 2009-2011).

In a hearing held on July 4, Judge Mejía decided that in order to be declared double jeopardy, there must be a final judgment or an order of dismissal, but this was not the case.

Prosecutor, Judge Harry Diaz specified that the version of the defense was not correct since for there to be a double trial it is necessary to combine three elements: the identity of the parties, the same fact and that the process has concluded in a judgment or dismissal. “None of these facts coincide with what the defense claims, only that it is the same person, Ricardo Martinelli,” said the prosecutor, who requested confirmation of Mejía’s decision.

The spokesman of the plaintiffs, Carlos Herrera, reinforced the prosecutor’s words regarding the procedural trilogy and asked the Plenary to reject the defense’s appeal and confirm the actions of the judge.

For the Plenary, the resolutions of the Commission of Credentials were not admitted and the denunciations were filed for lack of evidence. Coupled with this, do not match the facts in the folder 138-15 of the ex-president

The Plenary Assembly acted in the absence of Martinelli, who was again incapacitated  “But that was not an obstacle to the arrival of several patrols and lynxes that transported the detainee to the court to present the certificate that prolonged his incapacity,” reports La Estrella. Carillo told the media that it was a molar pain,  without specifying the ailment but La Estrella reports it was due to a suture for a cut from the extraction of a tooth. For  Supreme Court president Hernán De León it was not an excuse to suspend the hearing.

Delaying tactics
David Cuevas, attorney for the independent plaintiff Rosendo Rivera, recalled that two of the complaints filed in the Commission of Credentials were received on January 3, 2011, and were dismissed two days later. The third, against the Security Council, was presented in March 2013 and filed in April of the same year. “What investigation could the Commission have done in two days or a month?” Cuevas asked. The lawyer requested that the defense be called attention to delaying practices in the process.



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“Toothache” latest Martinelli ailment

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From a high blood pressure “crisis” on Monday, July 6 to a toothache on  Wednesday, ex-president Ricardo Martinelli and his lawyers continue to try to stall his hearings in Panama’s Supreme Court.

On Monday evening, shortly after prosecuting judge Harry Dias had spent an hour reading Martinelli’s wiretapping and embezzlement indictment, he was transferred from his cell in El Renacer Prison, to the more comfortable surroundings of Hospital Santo Tomas to occupy one of the chronically scarce  emergency beds where he rested for 48 hours while awaiting examination by doctors from the Forensic Health Center as ordered by Judge of Guarantees, Jeronimo Mejia.

On Thursday, lawyer Carlos Carrillo said  that Martinelli had  a disability that could extend  his hospital stay  for 24 hours, already warned by Judge Mejia about delaying tactics, insisted that his client  must be present at the hearing that was to be held at 2:00 p.m  with the plenary of the Supreme Court to decide a recourse of double judgment.

Carlos Herrera Moran, the complainant, pointed out that “all this is part of a dilatory measure of the defense. You’re going to realize what we’re going to debate are two legally absurd things.”

The plenary hearing went ahead without Martinelli.

Díaz explained that the facts presented by Martinelli’s defense were not investigated in the National Assembly and that those files were archived.

The lawyer Carlos Herrera Morán, who spoke for the complainants, reminded the defense that there cannot be a double judgment in this case because there is no previous sentence.

Lawyer David Cuevas, autonomous complainant, recalled that the magistrates have called Martinelli’s lawyers for the abusive use of defense.

On  Wednesday, July 11, the Plenary, in extraordinary session, did not admit an injunction of constitutional guarantees presented by the defense of the former president against a decision of Mejía, in which he ruled  he would still have the competence to handle  the process even though Martinelli had resigned from the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).



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Pranks and games of jailed Martinelli

Martinelli may have ample time to continue reading
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Former president Ricardo Martinelli, dubbed “El Loco”  is due back in court on Monday, July 16 for the continuation of his imputation hearing, when he will get to hear details of the evidence against him for illegal wiretapping from Judge prosecutor Harry Diaz.

He  is not only generating comments over what El Siglo calls his  “histrionic” behavior but also over reported incidents at the El Renacer Prison ranging from “luxury” fittings for his “mansion” cell once occupied by former military strongman  Manuel Noriega to attempts to smuggle in a cell phone charger and a woman.

Saturday reports in Mi Diario and El Siglo are about a “beautiful” Colombian, woman, Maria, Cecilia Mejia who tried to visit him posing as a legal intern and accompanied by lawyer Joel Peter Brown. She was not allowed in.

Reports circulated that she was the sentimental partner of one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys who some time ago represented her when she was charged for the death of her husband, Ariel Tuñón.

“I have no relationship with that lady, absolutely. In the past, we had an affair, but I have nothing now. And when I called her she told me that Marta Linares [Martinelli’s wife] asked her to take some belongings to her husband in jail, “said Herrera Morán when asked.

He added that if they do not clarify the situation “then I will denounce this as a dirty war by Martinelli and his lawyers to try to discredit the plaintiffs”  he said.

Mi Diario described Martinelli as desperate, “and while “they say he’s on the verge of death he wanted to make pranks inside the jail …The truth is that as soon as he stepped on Panamanian soil, he made out he’s dying, heart, pains in the head, diarrhea, molars and everything to avoid confinement … he has tried all kinds of tricks. The first actions were applications to the Penitentiary System, through his folkloric lawyer Holland Polo, who asked for a maid a computer and a sound system because he thinks that in El Renacer he can make a party like in his time of power and glory. El Loco and one of his brand-new  CD lawyers who is more “fan” than lawyer, tried put a “cell clock” in his cell-mansion but failed because the jailers were alert and they seized a cell phone loader from the prisoner.

Martinelli, when he has actually made it to the courtroom, in between trips to Santo Tomas hospital, has arrived flourishing a book. His most recent was “Saints and Sinners” With the recent rejection by the Supreme Court of his latest round of delaying tactics. Gibbons  “Decline and Fall” in six volumes might fit. If the prosecutor wins his case, the ex-ruler will have ample time to finish the six volumes.



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Martinelli defense lawyers begin rearguard action

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After being sideswiped  by the plenary of the Supreme Court in their attempts to halt the  accusation hearing  against former President Ricardo Martinelli for allegedly spying on communications of at least 150 people, through the National Security Council (CSN) his defense team has launched into what promises to be  a long drawn out rearguard action against prosecuting judge, Harry Diaz with procedural objections expected at every step of the way

La Prensa’s take on the Martinelli defense after plenary rejections

On Monday, July 16 the hearing before Judge of Guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, resumed at 10:25 a.m.

Sidney Sittón, one of the defense lawyers, began to detail what he calls the “flaws” and “blunders” in the presentation of the accusation against his client, and requested a “corrected ” accusation by Diaz that allows “a real right of defense “.

“What people were affected, what equipment was used, who were the officials to whom the orders were supposedly given, “are some of the details that -according to Sitton- are lacking in the accusation.

According to the lawyer, it is not explained in the accusation when, where and how the instructions to make the interceptions, through the CSN. would have been given by the defendant.

Sitton also  requested “the envelope with the identification of the protected witness as indicated by After a recess of about three hours, the magistrate of guarantees Jerónimo Mejía resumed the

Sitton objected to most of the 74 testimonial evidence presented by the prosecutor.

He said that the evidence “lacked support “and violated the procedural technique, by not justifying any of them.



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Conflicts over reported Martinelli plea deal talk

Prosecutor has asked for 21-year sentence
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ALTHOUGH ex-president  Ricardo Martinelli recently issued a written statement that he would never agree to a plea bargain that would require him to plead guilty to the illegal wiretapping of some 150 politicians, journalists, judges, and businessmen, there have been meetings with Martinelli’s legal team to explore the issue

Herrera Morán, representative of Dr. Mauro Zúñiga, a victim of the telephone jabs, says that he had a meeting with a defense lawyer, reports  La Estrella, but lawyers for other victims have not participated

The recent approach, which according to Herrera Morán is another of the 7 or 8 previous meetings that point to the same thing, took place on Wednesday, July 11, at an office in the capital city and was attended by Martinelli’s  wife, and a lawyer of the defense (Carlos Carrillo according to other sources).

The expectation was to get Martinelli to declare a confession and agree to a prison sentence of 7 to 8 years. That is a third of the sentence of 21 years requested by the prosecutor, Harry Diaz, to the Judge of Guarantees Jerónimo Mejía in the indictment.

The next day, a manuscript by Martinelli made it clear that he would not accept a penalty agreement and maintained his innocence.

Morán told La Estrella that he had the permission of the rest of the complainants for the approach. He said that the meeting focused on the legal issue and that it did not touch on the issue of compensation.

Prosecutor Díaz corroborates that Morán informed him of an appointment convened by the defense lawyer, Carlos Carrillo, accompanied by Marta Linares, to explore the possibility of a penalty agreement, but nothing was said in depth. The compensation, in this case, added Díaz, must be agreed with the complainants.

“What has always been maintained is that no penalty agreement can be less than 5 years in prison. As long as the complainants agree with these principles, the penalty agreement can be considered as a possibility, “said the prosecutor.

Rosendo Rivera, the autonomous plaintiff in the case, said that he has not authorized Herrera Moran to hold any meeting on his behalf. “My word and that of the rest of the complainants was that it was not right to meet unilaterally to address issues that affect all the complainants,” Rivera said.

Rodolfo Pinzón, Balbina Herrera’s lawyer, confirmed that Herrera Morán told the complainants that he had met with a defense representative, but without major consequences.

A conversation between the María Cecilia Jiménez and Herrera Morán spread through social networks.

Jiménez, a Colombian national, is known by Herrera Morán and Marta Martinelli. Linares. In the audio published on social networks, the young Jiménez says she served as a bridge between the parties that explored a penalty agreement.

Michell Doens corroborates that Herrera Morán indicated that he had approached the representatives of Martinelli’s defense.

He said that, when Martinelli was imprisoned in the United States, his lawyer Sidney Sitton proposed a penalty agreement alleging that Martinelli suffered from prostate cancer, which Doens did not object to because it was about humanitarian issues. At that time, he asked the lawyer for a medical certificate that endorsed his words. “He never presented it,” Doens said.

“The agreements are made with the prosecutor only. When Martinelli asks for an agreement, it is because he is willing to plead guilty, and once he pleads guilty, the issue of penalties, compensation to the State and the victims is discussed.”



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Martinelli case hearing suspended due to disability of prosecutor Harry Díaz

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 11:49

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Martinelli case hearing suspended due to disability of prosecutor Harry Díaz. The hearing will resume on Monday July 30 at 9:00 a.m.

The defense of the former president was upset for the suspension and categorized the action as a delaying technique on the part of the fiscal magistrate. Former president Ricardo Martinelli was also not taken to the hearing because he needs to undergo medical tests due to a hernia.

The defense attorney, Sidney Sittón, said that "Diaz, in the last hearing we did, I felt he was dismayed, overwhelmed by the amount of observations and objections we made to an accusation that does not seem to be prepared by a Supreme Court justice. An accusation without procedural technique, without structure, so I think the magistrate is simply trying to buy time. "

During the hearing on Tuesday, the prosecutor and the independent prosecutor were expected to respond and support whether or not they accepted the defense request made by the defense on July 16, where they requested the identification of the protected witness.



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The former President it is back at Santo Tomas Hospital this morning being checked out for a hernia.

It's a show every time he's taken somewhere  as there's always some of his posse waiting to greet him. It's very disruptive to an already stressed public medical facility.


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Wiretapping defense throws up new blocks

Judge Angela Russo
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The Ricardo Martinelli defense team continues to eat up the time of the Supreme Court   (CSJ) in a series of attempts to block the wiretapping hearing of their client, which could lead to sentences totaling 21 years.

Judge Angela Russo will be the rapporteur of a new protection of guarantees presented on Wednesday, July 25.

The defense alleges a violation of due process because supposedly the former president was investigated when he still maintained electoral jurisdiction [running for office through the CD party he founded]

The appeal attacks the decision made by the judge of guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía at a July 4 hearing that there was no violation of the electoral penal jurisdiction of Martinelli. Mejía explained that the prosecutor, Harry Díaz, fulfilled the terms that the plenary session of the Supreme Court(CSJ)  had that will initiate the investigation of the process after the  Electoral Court informed that it had given Martinelli its jurisdiction.

Martinelli’s defense also presented another protection of constitutional guarantees before the full CSJ to insist that Mejía does not have the competence of the process, as the former president had resigned as deputy of the Parlacen. This has magistrate Oydén Ortega as speaker.

In a ruling of July 11, the full CSJ did not admit an injunction with the same pretensions of the defense, because it did not comply with formal requirements. Judge Russo and the substitutes Efrén Tello and Asunción Alonso saved their vote after considering that the amparo complied with the requirements to be admitted.

Carlos Herrera Morán, lawyer of Doctor Mauro Zúñiga – a victim of the  wiretapping -, presented on Wednesday two   appeals against the  injunctions filed by Carlos Carrillo and Dimas Guevara, members of the Martinelli defense;

Herrera Morán asks the plenary of the CSJ to deny the amparos, as they lack legal support are not actionable and, in addition, were challenged extemporaneously.



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Wiretapping hearing set for Monday

Barring some new health incident, an audience for ex-Panama president Ricardo Martinelli, charged with illegal wiretapping will be held on Monday. July 30. with a new appeal before the Supreme Court (CSJ) against a decision of the guarantees magistrate, Jerónimo Mejía. It is expected that the prosecutor, Harry Diaz, and an autonomous complainant will answer objections from the  Martinelli defense on the indictment.


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Martinelli  legal dream team digs in

Martinelli arrives in court with his reading material
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The hearing into the illegal wiretapping charges against by Panama ex-president Ricardo Martinelli resumed on Tuesday, July 31, with the  multi-million dollar legal defense dream team continuing to demand that the prosecution reveal the identity of a key protected witness, and attempting blocking ploys that threaten to create the country’s longest-running criminal investigation.

Meanwhile Martinelli passes his time away from his home in El Renacer prison reading hefty tomes largely focused on the downfall of Rome.

During his  Tuesday pleadings, defense lawyer Sidney Sitton objected to points of the indictment document, which were allegedly taken care of by the prosecutor Harry Díaz during a five-day recess.

Sitton read a letter in which he detailed a series of elements of conviction and evidence, both testimonial and documentary, which he says have not been delivered to the defense.

He highlighted those related to expert reports and eye inspections carried out on two laptops.



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Martinelli threatens revelations as tempers flair in court

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In a day of rising tensions in the corridors of Panama’s Supreme Court during the   wiretapping trial of Ricardo Martinelli  on  Tuesday, July 31, shouting matches erupted,  lawyers came near to exchanging blows, and the ex-president screamed at  his escorts  and threatened “revelations”

Sidney Sittón, part of the Martinelli defense team, asked the prosecution to include a score of amendments to the expanded indictment that the prosecutor Judge Harry Díaz had previously delivered to the involved parties.

Sitton also demanded access to all documentary evidence that the prosecutor cited in the indictment.

The defense requests were answered, except for the disclosure of the identity of the protected witness, and access to seven notebooks that contain sensitive information of the victims and to material evidence that the prosecution intends to present at the trial.

After three heated arguments in the hearing room of the court and in the halls, during one of the recesses, The magistrate Jerónimo Mejía, as judge of guarantees, made an unprecedented move with complainants, prosecution, and defense, standing before him as a witness, to an agreement of a non-aggression pact.

One of the victims, Balbina Herrera, and Holanda Polo, Martinelli’s lawyer, had staged a strong exchange of words that required the intervention of security personnel.

One point of contention was the freedom with which Martinelli communicates, through notes, with sympathizers attending the hearings, an action that the complainants consider disrespectful.

Another discussion took place on the stairs of the Court, between Sitton and the independent plaintiff and lawyer  Rosendo Rivera.

Rivera was asking Sitton about messages published on social networks that supposedly made reference to him. Rivera challenged Sitton to speak directly to him. “The verbal exchange seems to have been accompanied by a fist challenge that never happened and security staff broke up the confrontation, reports La Estrella.

When the hearing resumed, Sittón tried to inform the judge of the incident, but Mejía did not allow him to speak. The lawyer only managed to say: “Security is aware of Rivera’s lack of respect”.

The third incident occurred between prosecutor Díaz and defense attorney Alejandro Pérez, between whom there was an intense debate in the courtroom.

When the judge declared a recess for lunch, Sitton and Polo approached the stand. Immediately Rivera, Herrera and the rest of the audience came and talked with Judge Mejía for about twenty minutes. After the meeting, the participants listened to the judge’s instructions.

Herrera said the parties agreed to handle themselves with respect during the process. Sitton added that the judge recommended them to act with professionalism.

During the hearing, prosecutor Díaz complained about Sittón’s behavior on social networks.

On the same day, Martinelli entered the courtroom yelling at his escorts:“Do not touch me. Do not touch me.”

When leaving, shouted that he would give statements that would shake the security forces of the country: “They cannot imagine” he warned. without advancing explanations.



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Wiretap victims claim millions as Martinelli defense ploys stumble

Sidney Sitton
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The latest delaying tactics of the Ricardo Martinelli defense team in his wiretapping trial got short shrift from Magistrate Jerónimo Mejía, acting as judge of guarantees. considered “insubstantial” the call of the ex-president’s lawyers to include the “occupations” of the victims of the espionage carried out by the National Security Council, between 2012 and mid-2014.

“I think it’s pointless, it’s about the victims whose testimony appears in the copies that the defense has … I think that is not essential … It is a fact that, in the context of accusation, is irrelevant, “said Mejía, at the continuation of the hearing on Wednesday, August 1.

Before adjourning the hearing for Martinelli to attend a “scheduled” medical appointment in a  private hospital,  Mejía heard the victims’ requests for compensation alongside any jail time Martinelli might receive if convicted. The fiscal magistrate Harry Díaz is calling for a 21 years sentence.

The lawyer of the PRD leader Balbina Herrera requested a compensation of $30 million for his client, based on Article 80 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on the rights of victims of crime.

Mitchell Doens, also a “target” of the National Security Council, described how his personal conversations were disclosed on the Youtube platform, which caused him serious personal and professional harm. For this reason, he requested compensation of $ 20 million.

Jovan Jaramillo Sánchez, attorney for the victim Rubén Darío Polanco, said that his client was treated by a psychologist, Jaramillo asked for compensation of $5 million.

Rosendo Rivera, victim and self-legal accuser in the trial said he will present the testimonies of five experts, psychiatrists, and a social worker. At that time, he will communicate his request for compensation.

Plaintiffs Mauro Zúñiga and Juan Carlos Navarro did not file a restructuring action, although They informed Mejía that they could subsequently file a civil lawsuit against Martinelli.

Sidney Sitton, Martinelli’s lawyer, said that “in the event that my client is declared criminally responsible “,  I will request that the case be transferred to the Third Chamber of the Contentious-Administrative of the Supreme Court of Justice.

Mejía recalled that the defendant was “Ricardo Martinelli and not the State.” Not one of the complainants included the State as jointly liable.

On his way out Martinelli said to reporters: “What madness, I have heard from the plaintiffs, in this political trial with their follies.  First of all, I am innocent, second, this is a political hoax, third, if they condemn me politically it is the Panamanian State that has to pay because I was President What madness.”

The trial resumes on Thursday, at 3:00 p.m.



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Prosecutors request almost 56 million dollars for compensation from Martinelli

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 17:43

Diseño sin título (11).jpg

Several plaintiffs in the case for the alleged illegal wiretapping against imprisoned Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) today asked for an economic compensation amounting to almost 56 million dollars.

In the continuation this Wednesday of the intermediate phase or indictment hearing against Martinelli, plaintiffs Balbina Herrera and Mitchell Doens, politicians of the historical Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD); and Rubén Polanco and Rosendo Rivera, requested compensations for 30 million dollars, 20 million, 5 million, and 955,000 dollars, respectively.

Doens told Efe that Panamanian legislation allows the complainants to "request compensation", which in their case is "20 million dollars", in the face of the consequences of the "criminal actions committed by Ricardo Martinelli", concerning the alleged illegal wiretapping affecting more than a hundred people during his administration.

The former president, who claims to be innocent and a victim of political persecution, "has to respond to this requirement, in the civil sphere once he is condemned," said Doens, a 71-year-old former Panamanian Labor Minister and determined opponent of Martinelli.

At the trial stage, which should be opened after this intermediate phase by decision of the presiding judge, Jerónimo Mejía, "the jury, in this case the full magistrates of the Supreme Court, could decide" on compensation.

If the plenary session of the Supreme Court does not do so during the trial, "once Mr. Martinelli is condemned, as we expect, the claim (for compensation) by the civil courts begins to be effective so that this (the compensation requested on Wednesday) can be considered," said Doens, who represents himself in this case.

Politician Balbina Herrera told Efe the compensation has been requested from Martinelli, not from the Panamanian State, because "it is time for public officials to pay for their crimes".

"He has to pay for it, not the State," said the former presidential candidate of the PRD as a hypothetical scenario that the former president would argue that as "he was president of the Republic" at the time of the alleged crime, the compensation "will have to be paid by the State".

Martinelli, 66, faces a sentence of 21 years according to the indictment filed in October 2015 by prosecutor Harry Díaz, who supported it in the framework of this indictment hearing, which began on June 25.

Díaz is requesting a sentence of 4 years in prison against Martinelli for the crime of wiretapping without judicial authorization; 4 for unauthorized persecution and surveillance, 3 years for embezzlement, and 10 years for abduction.

Other plaintiffs such as the former presidential candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) Juan Carlos Navarro and Mauro Zúñiga said they will file compensation claims at the time and in the civil sphere, without revealing figures.

The brief session this Wednesday was suspended by the presiding judge, Jerónimo Mejía, until this Thursday at 3:00 pm local time (20:00 GMT), informed the Judicial Body on Twitter.

Martinelli is being held in a minimum security prison located on the outskirts of the Panamanian capital since June 11, when he was surrendered by the United States authorities, where he was imprisoned for one year because of the extradition request for the case of wiretapping.

The former president left Panama on January 28, 2015, the same day he was opened the first of about 10 criminal cases by the Supreme Court of the country, although his defense states he can only be prosecuted for illegal wiretapping pursuant to the extradition, approved based on the specialty provision enshrined in a bilateral treaty.



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Martinelli defense to access intimate files

Playing to the crowd
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The judge of guarantees in the wiretap hearing of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli has agreed to a defense request to have access to seven booklets in the prosecution file containing sensitive or intimate information.

Judge Jerónimo Mejía, made the ruling on Thursday, Aug.2 as the case moved to the admission of evidence phase.

Mejía said he made the decision because he considers that he must “guarantee the right to defense to know the evidence and to support your objection or approval”.

But the access came with strict conditions. The judge warned that it must be strictly attached to the ethics of lawyers to “respect the dignity of the victims” and that he will not tolerate any kind of information being leaked and appearing in social media.

The prosecutor must provide the booklets on  Monday, Aug, 6 and the Judicial Office must provide a place for the defense access. They have no right to copy the files pen or pencil and notebooks. No audio, video or cell phones will be allowed.

“The defense does not have the right to know everything there may be there regarding the victims, “said Judge Mejía clarifying that it will be only a lawyer of the defense that will have access.

“They have to see it in accordance with ethical principles such as the profession demands, I do not want to see leaked information,” warned the judge.

Pencils or pens and notebook will be provided to review the material and make notes

Mejía announced a recess until Monday because Martinelli had another medical appointment on Friday, -his second this week- according to his lawyer Holland Polo.



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Witness life in danger, prosecutor threatened

Carlos Carrillo, warned not to give information to Martinelli
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The life of a protected witness in the wiretapping trial of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli is in danger, and the prosecutor has been threatened, the judge of guarantees was told on Monday, August 6.

Carlos Carrillo the leader of the defense lawyers has been warned not to reveal to Martinelli information in seven books containing transcripts of illicit recordings. Carrillo,  was authorized on Monday, August  6 by the judge of guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, to access the books from Tuesday.

Mejía asked Carrillo to present on August 23 – when the hearing resumes, after the vacation of prosecutor Harry Diaz – a report of the possible objections to the evidence contained in the books, which have been kept in reserve during the hearing.

Leak warning
Mejía also reminded the lawyer that, by leaking information related to the books he will be responsible. He recommended not giving details to Martinelli, to avoid disclosure  any comments about wiretap victims through handwritten letters “like the ones you have presented to the media in the hearings.”

The majority of Monday’s six-hour session focused on the admission or not of two protected witnesses, as well as the participation of experts Luis Enrique Rivera Calles and Gustavo Adolfo Scott Valdés.

The defense asked not to admit as unlawful and inconclusive a testimonial test presented by prosecuting judge, Harry Díaz, contained on a compact disc (in which a distorted voice is heard), and classified under the name of ” protected witness 2 “.

Martinelli lawyer Sitton also requested that the judge order the prosecution to reveal the general data of protected witnesses.

Prosecutor threatened
Diaz defended not revealing the identity of the witness, due to the series of threats that even he has received.

He said  that he received warnings that if Cambio Democrático (CD)  party wins the  2019 elections  “I should leave the country.”

According to Díaz, “the life of the protected witness is in danger.” “I do not want another case like Vernon Ramos,” he warned

The prosecutor promised that in the trial phase he will present the protected witnesses, who  he described as “a fundamental test in the theory of the prosecution on the case.”

Experts opposed
The defense also opposed the presentation of the experts Rivera Calles and Scott Valdés as they were not duly introduced in the indictment.

Rivera Calles is an expert in the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf), who participated in the ocular inspection of computers and hard disks.

Scott Valdés belongs to the Analysis, Statistics and Dissemination Unit of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ)

Mejia  said that he will rule at the end of this phase on the admission or not of  protected witnesses and experts



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Martinelli sues Panama’s vice president for 20 million dollars

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 22:30

Diseño sin título (27).jpg

Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, imprisoned in the framework of a trial for illegal wiretapping, sued the vice president and chancellor of Panama, Isabel De Saint Malo, for a $20-million compensation for having unduly processed his extradition from the United States.

Alma Cortés, lawyer of the defense team of the former president (2009-2014), told Efe today that the lawsuit was filed before Parliament, the body that by law can prosecute the head of the Executive, for crimes "against the public administration, violation of the American Convention on Human Rights and violation of the internal personality of the State".

The lawsuit is based on the fact that "in the opinion of Ricardo Martinelli's defense" the vice president and foreign minister "has failed to fulfill her duties as a public servant" by not having observed her obligation to "safeguard and protect" Panamanian nationals abroad, concerning the arrest and imprisonment of the former president in the United States.

Martinelli, 66, was surrendered to the Panamanian authorities on June 11 by the United States, where he was imprisoned for one year in a federal jail in Miami because of the extradition request for the allegedly illegal wiretapping affecting more than a hundred people during his term.

De Saint Malo allegedly engaged in discrimination because she had never sent an official delegation to the United States to verify the "conditions of Martinelli's detention, or if his rights were being guaranteed", among others.

"Mr. Martinelli suffered (...) in that American maximum-security jail, "his chronic diseases were not treated by doctors," which consequently "worsened", said the defense attorney and close collaborator of the former president of Panama.

The transfer of Martinelli to Panama was plagued by irregularities, said Cortés, including that his coordination "allowed us to invade the national territory delegating the entire exercise to the US authorities."

Once in national territory, Martinelli "should immediately have been put at the disposition" of the magistrate judge for the case of wiretapping, Jerónimo Mejía, "and not been subject to torture when apprehended by Panamanian security forces."

"His medical specialists were also omitted" when he arrived in the country, when he was received by "a simple general practitioner", and "he was not allowed to be assisted by his lawyers from the first moment," Cortés said.

"There was quantification of the damages caused by this unduly, fraudulent procedure (of extradition), to damage the reputation of Ricardo Martinelli (...) a $20 million compensation is being requested," Cortés told Efe.

That amount is being specifically requested from Vice President De Saint Malo, added the defense lawyer of the former Panamanian president.

Cortés announced next week the defense of the former head of the Panamanian State will also file lawsuits against the magistrate judge in the case of the wiretaps "for abuse of authority and overstepping the limits of his authority".

Other lawsuits will be filed against plaintiffs in the proceeding "who have made public accusations disqualifying Mr. Ricardo Martinelli by claiming he is a criminal", including politician Mitchell Doens.

Doens is one of the six complainants attached to the wiretapping trial, which is in the so-called intermediate or indictment phase, after which Judge Mejía must call an oral trial.

In this phase the plaintiffs Balbina Herrera and Doens, politicians of the historic Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD); Rubén Polanco and Rosendo Rivera, asked Martinelli for a compensation of $30 million, $20 million, $5 million, and $955,000, respectively.



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