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MARTINELLI TRIAL: Prosecutor confident of proof

Posted 26/03/2019
The Public Ministry (MP) presented, 23 of 47 evidence files by the end of the fourth day of the trial of the former President Ricardo Martinelli, for alleged illegal wiretapping and embezzlement.

Among messages read out on Tuesday, March 26.today were are those of two officials of the National Security Council, prosecutor Ricaurte González said. 

These collaborators indicated "clearly" that days after the May 2014 elections, a piece of furniture[Israeli made  surveilllance equipment]was removed from building No. 150 of the National Security Council, where computer equipment, servers, and others were installed and carried to the facilities of the Super 99 [property of the Martinelli family] in Monte Oscuro. 

Among the documentary evidence, which was accepted by the Oral Trial Court, there are ocular inspections of two computers obtained in a search of the house of Gustavo Pérez, who held the position of director of the National Police and director of the Security Council during the Martinelli government.

Other tests are related to inspections of the National Immigration Service and the Miramar hotel that certify the presence of Israelis in Panama.

The hearing began at 9:00 a.m. and ended after 12:30 p.m. because at 1:30 p.m. Martinelli had to attend a control hearing in another case where he is a plaintiff.  

"Today has been a profitable day in reading documents," said the prosecutor Gonzalez. González was confident that the MP will be able to establish that the accused has a perfect connection with the facts indicated.  

He hopes the reading of the 47 pieces of evidence will culminate. Wednesday.

He reiterated that the trial court granted seven days to the parties to examine the seven booklets containing information intercepted from the victims.  

Gonzalez said there are four Martinelli lawyers who will have access to the booklets. He warned that this material "cannot be revealed ... they have to be treated in a professional manner and the MP, as custodian, will make that respect." 

The review will be carried out after the presentation of the MP's documentary evidence. The review process will take place at the premises of the Second Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, in the Avesa building, during office hours.



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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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MARTINELLI TRIAL: Israeli Pegasus spy system link

Posted 27/03/2019
"It is clear, without ambiguity, there can be no doubt, that the Pegasus system existed ... Its disappearance is something else" said. Ricaurte González, the prosecutor in the oral trial of former President Ricardo Martinelli, for allegedly spying on communications of at least 150 people. 

"The Pegasus system had the capacity to track 300 people, 300 targets ..."Gonzalez told  media

On Wednesday, March 27, the fourth day of proceedings, the Public Ministry reported that six additional proofs had been introduced.  "All these elements are indicating the accurate connection of the accused Ricardo Martinelli," said the prosecutor. 

Martinelli, once in the courtroom, required attention from the doctor who is present during the trial, at the request of the court chaired by judges Roberto Tejeira (president), Arlene Caballero (rapporteur) and Raúl Vergara (third judge). 

A  lawyer from the Martinelli defense team said that Martinelli’s blood pressure had risen.

The evidence presented will be discussed in the trial, which will resume April 8  meanwhile the parties in the process will review the seven volumes that contain illegal wiretapping transcripts. The judges have warned that nobody can divulge the contents.

The review will be done from Thursday, March 28 until Friday, April 5, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and from 2:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Office of the Prosecutor in the Avesa building.



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Martinelli trial resumes April 5


Ricardo Martinelli, upon his arrival at the courts March 27

Posted 28/03/2019
The trial of former president  Ricardo Martinelli will resume Friday, April 5, and not Monday, April 8, as originally announced. said the Court of Judgment, chaired by Judge Roberto Tejeira, in a press release on Thursday, March 29.

The decision is based on the fact that article 372 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that hearings can be, justifiably suspended, for a maximum period of 10 calendar days. The trial of Martinelli is in recess from Wednesday, March 27; therefore, the 10 calendar days are met on April 5.



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"Victim” Martinelli threatens to sue judge  


Note after speed reading over 3,000 pages of evidence

Posted 29/03/2019
Former President  Ricardo Martinelli has described himself as ”a victim not a victimizer” and has threatened to add a Supreme Court Judge to the list of people he is currently suing.

 He made the statements in a handwritten note to journalists after his first view of the 3000 pages in seven folders issued his first opinions on the content of the seven folders containing 3,000 pages of confidential information about the victims spied  on.by the National Security Council during the last two years of his mandate. 

For the second consecutive day, the former president went to the prosecutor's office, where the files are held.

The Trial Court ordered that the defense and the complainants have access to them, for a period of seven calendar days, and a recess was ordered in the oral trial of  Martinelli for the alleged commission of four crimes: the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and two types of embezzlement.

"90% of the information is irrelevant, that's why they did not want to present it completely at the trial, and nowhere does anyone mention me as the author of anything," Martinelli adds, and points out that he will  immediately  sue Mejía "for all the damage caused ”

Judge Roberto Tejeira, president of the Court of Judgment, had warned the parties that they could not disclose or filter information contained in the files. At the time, Mejía - as judge of guarantees authorized access only to Carlos Carrillo, coordinator of the team of defense lawyers  …Story developing



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Witnesses to appear in Martinelli trial Apl 5

Posted 30/03/2019
The Prosecutor's Office expects to enter a key phase to convict former president Ricardo Martinelli for of  by illegal wiretapping or "punctures", on Friday, April 5.

the Public Prosecutor's  four person team, will bring their witnesses before the court. The witnesses, according to the prosecutor Ricaurte González, will  give strength to the documentary evidence presented in the last week, which included more than twenty audios found on devices found in the house of the ex-director of the Security Council Alejandro Garúz; an ocular inspection report on the alleged transfer of a piece of equipment , from the SecurityCouncil to the super 99 offices in Monte Oscuro; a certification that of the hiring by the former director of the Security Council Gustavo Pérez, to install the Pegasus interceptions system Pegasus, at a cost of $13  million and certifications that allegedly link to offices of people close to former Martinelli, as read by the Office of the Prosecutor before the Oral Trial Court.

The defense of Martinelli, and he himself  say ure that after reviewing seven booklets with information in reserve, nothing is compromising.



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Prosecutor slams Martinelli threats


Dak Boni, center arrives at court

Posted 04/04/2019
A day before the reopening of the trial of  Ricardo Martinelli for alleged spying  Anti-corruption prosecutor Ricaurte González denounced threats by Martinelli who said he is going to sue the Public Ministry and a Supreme Court Judge,

On Thursday, April 4 the  Superior Court of Appeals held a hearing to discuss a  habeas corpus in favor of the former president.  The appeal was filed by Italian journalist and lawyer based in Panama, Diego Dal Boni who has no license to practice in Panama but was accompanied by Martinelli defense lawyers.

Martinelli asked the court to change his precautionary measure. He explained that he has not evaded justice, because when he left the country, on January 28, 2015, there was no process against him. 

He did not mention make the reservation that 10 days before that date, Gustavo Pérez and Alejandro Garuz, ex-director of the National Security Council were detained in the same case. Many of the arguments have already been put forward in the past you when he tried to be released.

Judges Carlos Rivas (president), Geovanina Antinori and Mauricio Marín - unanimously considered that Martinelli "must remain in custody - as already ordered by the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice December 21, 2015 - until the end of the process that is followed."
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Prosecutor Ricaurte González said that at this hearing, Martinelli announced that he would file lawsuits against the Public Ministry.

"The threats, wherever they come from, are not going to overwhelm us," the prosecutor said.

Martinelli, who is provisionally detained in El Renacer, arrived at the court from the Specialized Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime, where he is authorized to review, with his lawyers, seven booklets with confidential information about the victims spied on by the National Security Council.

The Public Ministry announced that it opposes the release of Martinelli, accused of the alleged commission of crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and two types of embezzlement.

The oral trial for the wiretapping case is scheduled to resume Friday, April 5, at 2:00 pm.,

The ex-president has been held in El Renacer prison since June 11, when he was extradited by the United States, at the request of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ordered the detention of Martinelli on December 21, 2015, and, since then, on several occasions has confirmed the precautionary measure.



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OPINION: Martinelli threats and obstruction

Posted 06/04/2019
Where does the legitimate defense of a defendant end and the abuse of legal remedies begin? This is one of the essential questions that provokes the performance of the technical defense of the former president of the Republic, today a guest of El Renacer. The current prosecutor in the case of the punctures has indicated that he has received threats. At the same time, it is public and notorious that the sophisticated organization dedicated to the defense of the ex-ruler has interposed dozens of resources since 2015, some of which are merely repetitive, and which in many cases have had the obvious effect of delaying the judicial  process They were changed from court, but despite this, they have reiterated the habeas corpus asking for the umpteenth time the release of the extradited, while in the Supreme Court of Justice are considered other actions, as an unconstitutionality that again seeks to discuss what the Court itself had decided, when it denied an injunction and proceeded to legitimize what was done by the magistrate Jerónimo Mejía This festival of resources and delaying measures could be justified as the faculty that the defense has to use all means to advance its cause. However, both the Constitution and the codes give the courts tools to rule out those delaying actions. It seems that the judges have forgotten that they are the ones who put the order in the courts - LA PRENSA, hoyporhoy Apl.6


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Prosecution witness in Martinelli  trial  on-line blunder


Prosecution witness Rivera Calle

Posted 07/04/2019

A key prosecution witness in the trial of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli blundered into the headlines after advocating Martinelli as a candidate for mayor on Facebook on Saturday, April  6 the day after giving evidence in court. 

Luis Enrique Rivera Calle, forensic computer expert of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf), and who is  a witness of  the case of illegal eavesdropping  posted on facebook   "Martinelli heads survey for Panamanian mayor, despite being arrested."

After media became aware of the publication, in the afternoon of  Sunday, April 7, Rivera Calle eliminated the post of his Facebook wall reports TVN.

Ricaurte González, the organized crime prosecutor, said  he would introduce evidence and several elements to the process, in addition to reviewing what Rivera testified on Friday, April 5, during the Martinelli's trial for illegal wiretapping,

On Monday, April 8 Rivera must continue his testimony.

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Martinelli’s  bid to exit jail  rejected

Posted 08/04/2019
Ex-president  Ricardo Martinelli after again playing his near-death health card as he plans to run in a stressful election failed in his latest attempt to exit the El Renacer prison.

The  Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, chaired by the magistrate of the Supreme Court, José Ayú Prado, confirmed on Monday, April 8, the decision of the Court of Appeals, that last week declared legal the preventive detention of  Martinelli and denied habeas corpus.

 The decision was taken after almost two hours of deliberation, Ayú Prado was accompanied by magistrates Wilfredo Sáenz, substitute for Harry Díaz, and Luis Carrasco, substitute for Jerónimo Mejía.

On April 4, the court -composed of by judges Carlos Rivas (president), Geovanni Antinori and Mauricio Marín- unanimously considered that Martinelli must remain in custody -as already ordered by the plenary of the Supreme Court on December 21. of 2015- until the process that is followed by the alleged unauthorized interception of communications ends.

Wiretapping victims T, through their lawyer, requested that the appeal be rejected and detention continued. They pointed out that it is not true what Martinelli's defense alleges, that his health would be in danger. 

"It is false that the victims want to end the life of the defendant," said lawyer Carlos Herrera Delgado. 

Martinelli had the opportunity to intervene and launched into an impassioned harangue including an attack on his “persecutors”.  He said that both the prosecution and the complainants have "distorted" the case and that he is the first interested party to continue the hearings to demonstrate "the farce they have set me up."

Sudden death
He also said that the prosecutor's office "wisely" omitted part of the Forensic Medicine report in which it is alleged that the patient does not show optimal blood pressure and this could "lead to a serious complication such as sudden death."

"I have half my heart stopped, nobody seems to care that my heart is suffering and my heart is bad," he said in the audience room. 

According to Martinelli, he obtained recent information that a party was held in the Judicial Branch and a "person died dancing".

"Here there are a number of plaintiffs who want to get my money, they want me not to be a candidate, because tomorrow a survey will come out in which I will go 25 points up" from my closest opponent,” he said.

Before closing, Martinelli asked the court "from the depths of my soul" to declare his detention illegal. After a two- hour deliberation, the court s gave him the thumbs down and he will remain in El Renacer prison at least until his trial ends.



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OPINION: Panama Justice on the skids


Martinelli returns o El Renacer prison.

Posted 11/04/2019
The case of wiretapping is being taken towards a dead end. The in-depth hearing chaired by a suspect judge has turned into a buffa opera, in which, exceeding his authority, the official has refused to accept evidence that had previously been admitted, excluding a complainant, removing the victims of the court and denying the televised transmission of the hearing. On the other hand, the peculiar behavior of an expert, the first witness of the prosecution, leaves a displeasure of mouth and a stinking smell that we can all identify. The contradictions of this expert with his judicial statements in another previous case, question the credibility of his testimony, and with the active participation of the magistrate president of the court, constitute a mockery of the  justice of the first order. This was always the intention of those who planned the scheme of declinatory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Justice. They did not want judges like Mejía, nor the body of prosecutors at trial. They seek impunity at all costs and mock all Panamanians, we must, now more than ever, remain vigilant- LA PRENSA Apl. 11.


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Martinelli judge  ignoring  Supreme Court appeal


Prosecutor Aurelio Vasquez

Posted 13/04/2019

The judges in the wiretapping trial of former president Ricardo Martinell. (two with  close links to his administration are acting against an earlier ruling of the Supreme Court

Anticorruption prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez, a member of the  Public Ministry (MP) team made the statement on Friday, April 12i

The trial court is disregarding a decision of the  Supreme Court that last December validated the performance of Judge Jerónimo Mejía, who, acting as judge of guarantees, issued the order opening the trial of former with the corresponding evidence.

Vásquez reported that on  Monday Apl 15  three appeals will be filed against Judge Roberto Tejeira - president of the trial court - who, he alleges, prevents the presentation of evidence that was admitted in the intermediate phase of the proceeding against Martinelli.

In the ruling of December 7, 2018, with which the Supreme Court declined its jurisdiction, the plenary also validated everything that Mejía did.

The court "must respect the full content of the intermediate phase, which contains the evidence that would be used in the trial phase,." Said Vásquez

In a La Prensa interview, Vásquez said that the auto opening evidence, on page 31, contains seven booklets that include the ocular inspection to the email bradpty507@gmail.com, but now the court does not admit them as documentary evidence. That is to say, it will not value them at the moment of issuing its verdict.

Also, they are not allowed to open the compact discs in which the content of the mail was stored.

He stressed that the decision of Judge Roberto Tejeira, president of the court, limits the Public Ministry to present his theory of the case, since he can not compare the contents of the discs or analyze the documents with the transcription of its data.

The Criminal Code establishes that documentary evidence can be introduced for reading and that among these are the recognition, registration or inspection records made by the prosecution.

Tejeira also excluded the document # number 33: the official letter, in which are the telephone numbers intervened, and whose content was kept on compact discs.

Before the  Supreme Court declined its jurisdiction in the case to the ordinary sphere, Judge Harry Diaz, who acted as prosecutor of the case, requested his colleague, Judge José Ayú Prado, from the Criminal Chamber of the Court would certify if that judicial instance had ordered the interception of these telephones.

Vásquez  reiterated, the court is rejecting the decisions taken by Judge Mejía when he served as a trial judge.

He said that the court did not take into account the decision of the Court of December 7 2018, with which it declined its jurisdiction in the case, but validated everything that had been done up to that moment.

"In this case, the trial judges cannot ignore the Court's ruling, which is strict compliance," he said.

He added that the court must respect "the full content" of the intermediate phase, the stage in which is the evidence that would be used in the trial.

Therefore, he said, "a court order is being disregarded."

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Prosecution appeals Martinelli trial decision


Posted 16/04/2019

Panama’s The  Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) has filed an appeal for constitutional guarantees against the president of the court trying former President Ricardo Martinelli for alleged embezzlement and illegal wiretapping.

There were earlier concerns about the appointment of Judge Roberto Tejeira to the court because of his previous close ties to the Martinelli administration.

Prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez, who represents the MP in the trial, said that the safeguard of guarantees attacks the decision of TejeiraJ - to prevent the opening and comparison of the content of the compact disc that has the information of the email  radpty507@gmail.com, reports La Prensa.

This email contains the confidential material intercepted to the victims by the National Security Council (CSN), during the last two years of the Martinelli government.

The compact disc was found in the diligence carried out by the prosecutor's office in September 2014 in the 150th building of Quarry Heights, headquarters of the CSN.

The report of that diligence was signed by Luis Enrique Rivera Calle, head of Computing at the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, who is currently testifying at the trial.

Vásquez explained that this material had already been admitted as evidence by Judge Jerónimo Mejía, acting as judge of guarantees, during the intermediate phase of the process, when it was under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Justice.

Prosecutors at the Public Prosecutor's Office warned that Judge Roberto Tejeira is unaware of a test that has already been admitted by the judge of guarantees.

The prosecutor indicated that now the trial court has decided not to authorize the opening of the compact disc, which violates a decision of the Court.

"There is no sense in admitting material evidence without being able to open it and, based on this situation, and since the prosecution requested reconsideration what is possible is an Amparo of constitutional guarantees,"  stressed. Vásquez.

In the opinion of the prosecutor, the measure taken by the trial court "violates" the due process.

In the protection of guarantees, the MP also requests that the oral trial that follows Martinelli be suspended until the Supreme Court of Justice resolves the merits of the appeal.

Carlos Carrillo, of Martinelli's legal team, said they share the court's decision, so the test should be excluded.

The trial court is composed of Roberto Tejeira (president), Arlene Caballero (rapporteur) and Raúl Vergara (third judge).

Tejeiea and Caballero held posts in the Martinelli administration.

The three judges in February denied challenges filed against them for alleged links with the defendant and for rulings that had been issued against some of the victims.

Judicial sources informed that the appeal will be distributed on Wednesday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m.

On April 11, Judge Tejeira decreed a recess until April 15 today, so that the prosecutor's office could take copies of the seven booklets containing the confidential material intercepted to the victims and deliver them to Martinelli's defense. The seven booklets total of 3,245 pages.



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Judge assigned to Martinelli prosecution appeal


Posted 17/04/2019

Judge Carlos R. Trujillo of the First Superior Court of Justice will be in charge of an appeal presented by the Public Prosecutor's Office against the Oral Trial Court hearing the wiretapping case of former President Ricardo Martinelli.

Prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez said the appeal is related to a decision of the president of the Oral Trial Court, Judge Roberto Tejeira.

Vásquez explained that Judge Tejeira admitted evidence as evidence, but not it's opening, this being

the specific case of a compact disc, that the Prosecutor's Office requests that its content be processed.

If the appeal this protection is admitted, the trial court hearings could be suspended until the Court makes a decision The Oral Trial Court is made up of judges Roberto Tejeira (president), Arlene Caballero and Raúl Vergara.

The case " went to the ordinary courts, after the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) declined its jurisdiction following maneuvers by Martinelli regarding is membership of the Central American Parliament which he once declared a den of thieves.



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US-Panama talks pose new threats to Martinelli


Posted 18/04/2019

Former President Ricardo Martinelli already facing trial for alleged illegal wiretapping, could face prosecution in at least seven other cases if current negotiations with the US are finalized.

 La Prensa reports that The governments of Panama and the United States are about to conclude an agreement whereby the granting of exceptions to the specialty principle governing extraditions would be formalized.

According to sources consulted both Washington and Panama, have been negotiating for months a mechanism that allows each State to request the other's consent so that an extradited person, whoever it may be, can face new judicial processes.

Currently, between the two countries there is the Extradition of Offenders Treaty signed in 1904.

In conventions of this nature, the principle or rule of specialty governs, which establishes that an extradited person must face the judicial process for which he was extradited.

In the event of evidence of other criminal acts against individuals who have already been extradited, the State that requested the extradition should ask the other State for a waiver or exception to said principle in order to process it.

Although the extradition granted by the US to Panama of formeMartinelli in the wiretapping case is the most famous for Panamanians - this is not the only one to which these exceptions apply - the genesis of the agreement seems to be another says La Prensa.

According to the sources consulted,  this means, the US  has a particular interest in extradition requests that it makes to Panama, particularly those related to individuals linked to drug trafficking.

In some of these cases, evidence of the commission of other crimes has emerged once the suspects have been extradited and are in US territory. According to American prosecutors, these crimes would go unpunished if they did not have the authorization of Panama, to be able to impute new crimes to the suspects.

Based on the principle of reciprocity, Panama would have requested that the same rule be applied.

If so, new cases could be initiated against  Martinelli for crimes other than those currently being judged.

To do so, in accordance with the agreement reached by both governments, the  Public Prosecutor's Office should file with the Department of State a request for waiver or exception to the specialty rule.

Martinelli was extradited by the United States on June 11, 2018, after being detained for almost a year in Miami. The Judiciary requested his extradition to face accusations of violations of the privacy of at least 150 people, including politicians journalists, businessmen, and trade unionists.

On December 7, 2018, the plenary session of the Court moved the wiretapping case, to the ordinary sphere after considering that it lost jurisdiction when  Martinelli resigned as deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).

In addition to this case, the  Supreme Court admitted, between 2015 and 2017, at least seven other criminal proceedings against Martinelli. including . the overreaching of functions and crimes against public administration.

The admitted cases are for the dehydrated food contract for public schools; that of the purchase of grain through the extinct National Aid Program and the irregular collection of taxes in which a witness described taking suitcases packed with cash to Martinelli in the presidential palace.

In addition, the case related to alleged irregularities in transactions at the defunct brokerage Financial Pacific was admitted; another of n a loan granted by the Savings Bank for the construction of the convention center in Amador, and another for alleged extortion of the company Impregilio for the construction of a hospital in Veraguas.

 In this last process, on February 15, 2018, the fiscal magistrate Luis Ramón Fábrega ordered the provisional filing.

 In November of 2017, the process related to the purchase of grains through the PAN was filed by the Court.



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Latin America’s  Presidential Hall of Shame


Posted 19/04/2019

Former president Ricardo Martinelli facing trial for allegedly spying on about 150 of his fellow citizens during his government, (2009-2014), could face  21 years in prison for four crimes, which include violation of privacy and crimes against the public administration. He forms part of a band of leaders in a Latin  America nominated to a  Presidential  Hall of Shame.

Martinelli has also been investigated for multiple corruption scandals during his administration, and a dozen of his ministers were temporarily arrested and let out on bail. Despite this, the party he created nominated him to run for mayor of Panama City and deputy of the 8-8 circuit, for the parties Cambio Democrático and Alianza, for the general elections on May 5.

So far, Martinelli, extradited by the US in June last year,  can only be investigated for the wiretapping case, but Panama and the US are negotiating e exceptions to the principle of specialty, which until now prevents him the former president from being prosecuted for other cases, while his two sons Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares are facing extradition from   the United States for their  supposed connection with the bribes of Odebrecht.

The case of former Peruvian President Alan García. who committed suicide while facing arrest is the latest in a series of corruption investigations involving former Latin American presidents. several related to the Brazilian company Odebrecht.nd some are already imprisoned. Panama has its own list of suspects among Panama’s elite   In Peru, former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) is in preliminary detention as part of an investigation into the alleged crime of money laundering in the Odebrecht scandal.

On Wednesday, April 17, PPK was hospitalized in the wake of a blood pressure crisis...  

Also in Peru,   The Office of the Prosecutor is following follows the trail of $20 million that former President Alejandro Toledo received. from Odebrecht  Currently, Toledo resides in the United States, although Peru has requested his extradition. Former Peruvian President Ollanta Humala was also imprisoned for nine months between 2017 and 2018 for allegedly receiving $3 million Odebrecht for his election campaign and is awaiting prosecution.

In Brazil, former President Michel Temer was jailed after being accused of leading a criminal organization that received bribes in exchange for favoring companies already condemned by the Lava Jato scandal in illicit contracts with the state company Eletronuclear.

Former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in prison for corruption and money laundering in a second case.  The leader of the Workers' Party (PT) was is already serving a 12-year sentence for similar charges in another case that is also part of the Lava Jato investigation.

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner The former president of Argentina faces several investigations into corruption. Your status as a senator grants immunity.

Otto Pérez Molina: The Guatemalan president resigned four months before the end of his term for a customs fraud scandal and is in preventive detention, waiting to be tried. His former vice president, Roxana Baldetti, is also in jail.

Álvaro Colom: The former president of Guatemala is accused of corruption in a transportation model implemented in his government (2008-2012). Before him, President Alfonso Portillo (2000-2004) had been imprisoned for corruption.

Rafael Callejas: The former Honduran president pleaded guilty in 2016 to conspiracy for organized crime and electronic fraud at Fifagate.

Alberto Fujimori of Peru appropriated $15 million dollars from the national coffers to deliver them to his former advisor, Vladimiro Montesinos. He was condemned to imposed 7 years and 6 months for this  The Ecuadorian Prosecutor's Office opened in 2018 an investigation against the former president Rafael Correa for "organized crime" in the Odebrecht case, but he is self-exiled in Belgium.



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US-Panama  extradition  Exchange Note


Posted 22/04/2019

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified on Monday, that the governments of Panama and the United States, following a US initiative  signed an Exchange Note on the principle of specialty contained in the Extradition Treaty in force between both nations.

"The need to prepare this diplomatic document arises at the initiative of the US authorities, after considering the need to define in a coordinated and transparent manner, the mechanism to request and grant an exception to the Rule of Specialty contained in Article VIII of the Extradition Treaty. of  1904, in order to avoid impunity and promote justice between both countries, "the statement said.

In accordance with the interpretation of the object and purpose of the Extradition Treaty of 1904, both nations reached a mutual understanding on the processes of requesting exceptions, which could be requested in stages prior to the accusation by the competent authorities.



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A bad news day  forPanama's ex-president


Posted 22/04/2019

The announcement that the US and Panama have exchanged notes following discussions on the  “specialty principle” is not the kind of news that former president  Ricardo Martinelli wants to hear, as it potentially opens the door to involve him in a dozen or more corruption investigations.

In an Analysis of the talks, La Prensa explains that the specialty principle is a guarantee of Public International Law that protects those extradited against the prosecution,  or punishment for a crime other than that requested in extradition.

This guarantee had in Panamanian law three exceptions: crimes against humanity, those crimes that were expressly authorized by the country that extradited the requested person; and in the case of extradition from or directed to the United States, the third exception was the voluntary acceptance of the extradited to be tried for another reason, to stay in the country after 30 days of serving his sentence or be acquitted of charges against him.

According to this norm, if Panama extradited a person to the United States, he could only be judged for the crime for which it had been requested in Martinelli's case illegal wiretapping 

On May 25, 1904, concerned mainly by the Panamanian and American fugitives who could use the then Canal Zone, the government  of Panama, and The omás Arias, and the interim charge of United States signed the Extradition Convention, which was endorsed by the National Assembly,  

To simplify this process of mutual consent, the United States and Panama negotiated, since October 2018, an exchange of letters that establishes formal consent between both parties to allow extradited persons to be tried for other crimes.

The exchange of notes is a mechanism of public international law by which countries that are part of a treaty agree on a scope or a more detailed or specific meaning than the original treaty.

As it derives from an existing treaty, the exchange of notes does not need to be ratified by the National Assembly in order to have legal validity, since the acceptance rubrics of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or other participating diplomatic agents are sufficient.

The exchange applies to all persons that Panama has extradited to the United States and vice versa. This includes Martinelli

The is diplomatic action allows Panamanian prosecutors to reopen all those cases known to the Supreme Court of Justice related to the former president which were not subject to a statute of limitations or definitive dismissal.

Even the Public Prosecutor's Office could even  initiate new investigations for the alleged commission of crimes other than those that the Court has known so far and the list is long..



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“Kidnapped” Martinelli trial resumes


Posted 22/04/2019

Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli who is still battling to be allowed to run for mayor of Panama City and as a deputy for the National Assembly, played his latest health card on Monday, April 22 at the resumption of his illegal wiretapping trial..Earlier in the day he was examined in  Santo Tomás  Hospital, where he was accompanied by police escorts and told waiting for journalists from newspapers he controls, that he was “kidnapped”, being held hostage and is rights were abused

After his examination, he was taken ”to the courtroom of the First Judicial District, where he presented a letter signed by Dr. Gaspar Arenasa asking that he be excused from appearing in court one day each week.

The trial resumed on with the continuation of questioning by   prosecutor Ricaurte González.of expert Luis Enrique Rivera Calle, chief of 

Informatics at the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf).



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More delays  in Martinelli trial


Posted 23/04/2019

The trial of Former President  Ricardo Martinelli seems destined to become one of the longest in Panama’s history with two more delaying tactics  by the defense, including  a request  for a day off for Martinelli  each week  for alleged health concerns, while he is still actively trying  to run for Mayor of Panama in the May 5 elections.

Now an appeal of constitutional guarantees against the decision of the Court to allow the reading and introduction of part of the seven booklets containing confidential information of the victims of the wiretapping case.

The action is also against "other judicial proceedings" conducted by the expert Luis Rivera Calle, chief of Informatics of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf) and a key prosecution witness.

 Martinelli lawyer Carlos Carrillo, claims that the introduction of the booklets and other diligence on the part of Rivera Street," booklets do not have a relation with the expert, within the trial followed by Martinelli. " Therefore, Carrillo requests that said decision of the court be revoked.

According to the appeal   by Carrillo, in the order for opening the trial, it is stated that the booklets will be introduced as evidence, "by reading by Gustavo Adolfo Scott Valdés."

"The constitutional infraction occurred when introducing said evidence in a different way to how it was ordered in the order opening the trial," Carrillo said in the document.

The trial court is chaired by Judge Roberto Tejeira. Arlene Caballero (judge rapporteur) and Raúl Vergara (third judge). two of whom had close ties to the Martinelli administration.

Last week Organized Crime Prosecutors  Ricaurte González and  Aurelio Vásquez, who last week presented an appeal against the decision of Judge Tejeira to prevent the opening and comparison of the content of a compact disc compact with confidential information about the victims.

The material had already been admitted as evidence by Judge  Jerónimo Mejía, acting as judge of guarantees, during the intermediate phase of the process, when the case was under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

The appeal is in the office of magistrate Carlos Trujillo.



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Judge bends to Martinelli “rest day” plea


Posted 23/04/2019

Judge Roberto Tejeira, presiding over the trial of   Ricardo Martinelli has granted a request for the ex-president to rest one of the five days of the week authorized for the hearings.

The oral trial is will resume on  Thursday.

On Monday, Martinelli presented the judge with an evaluation of  Dr. Gaspar Arenas of the Santo Tomás Hospital, in which he recommended, that the ex-president should rest one of the five days of the weekly hearings.

Martinelli has previously played numerous health cards including a false statement that he had cancer and has several times been given  a “stable” report by a forensic health team, and he has been accused of refusing to take prescribed blood-pressure medicines.

The Prosecutor against Organized Crime, Ricaurte González, said that it is necessary that the doctors of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf) make an assessment of the evaluation of Dr. Arenas, "to be certain that this request is necessary"

"We do not take what Arenas says as false, but we think that for a legal technical issue, it should be legal doctors who endorse this situation," he said.

Carlos Herrera Carlos Herrera lawyer of the complainant Mauro Zúñiga expressed his disagreement with the request of the defense.

"Let's take a vacation day a week because this is really what it would be," he told reporters.

"We are being quite flexible and allowing him to continually have access to a doctor and also to have breaks whenever there is a pressure issue, which is sufficient and does not require an additional day," he said.

Martinelli’s latest ploy was widely regarded with skepticism.  A La Prensa columnist wrote: “  he requested "not to attend an audience one day a week", to avoid worsening all the pathologies and health problems that he alleges to suffer. What is pathological is his uncontrollable desire to tell us about diseases that would disappear magically and immediately -as happened yesterday- if they grant him his desire to go home.

On Tuesday, the trial of the former president was resumed for the alleged commission of crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and for embezzlement. Martinelli arrived at the court  escorted and handcuffed from El Renacer, where he has been provisionally detained since June 11, by order of the Supreme Court



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Prosecutor wants Marta Martinelli immunity lifted


Marta Linares de Martinelli, and Kristelle Getzler,

Posted 29/04/2019

The Sixth Anti-Corruption Prosecutor  has  called on  Panama’s  Electoral Tribunal (TE) to lift the  immunity  from prosecution of the former first lady and candidate for deputy, Marta Linares de Martinelli, and Kristelle Getzler, wife of former Minister of Finance  Frank de Lima,

Both women are running for election to the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) and are under investigation for the alleged payment of bribes by government contractors to past government officials, better known as the Blue Apple case.

According to the Prosecutor's Office, the request -presented on April 16- is for the alleged commission "of the crime against public administration, against the economic order and against collective security."

The General Secretariat of the TE received the request and the file was distributed: The speaker will be  Heriberto Araúz who was the dissenting judge when the TE ruled that Ricardo Martinelli was not able to run for political office in the upcoming elections. 

The Public Ministry reported earlier this year that the investigation into the Blue Apple case was concluded. This process was opened in September 2017 when a "basket" society was detected, presumably created in order to receive bribes paid by State contractors in exchange for the streamlining of payments for projects assigned between 2009 and 2014.

Marta  Linares de Martinelli, wife of the former president. has accepted Article 25 of the Constitution to not declare when the prosecutor's office summoned her to answer for the Lemar foundation, which allegedly received unjustified payments from state contractors. Marta Linares is the legal representative of the foundation since 2016.

Linares de Martinelli explained,  that she is the legal representative of the foundation since 2016 and that the facts investigated date from 2012. However, at that time she was listed as treasurer of the foundation.

Getzler, who was secretary of Economic Affairs in the government of Ricardo Martinelli. Her connection with the case arose after the alleged purchase of a BMW  at Bavarian Motors, with money allegedly stemming from the corruption judicial sources told La Prensa.



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Martinelli spy tapes go back to 2010


Posted 02/05/2019

AUDIO recordings played in court on Thursday, May 2 during the trial of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli for illegal wire tapping were made in 2010 and 2011

This would be proof that telephone interceptions had been committed since those years and not since 2012 as recorded in the case files, as reported by prosecutors, and leading to the possibility of  the opening of additional  investigations since the accusation against Martinelli spans from 2012 to 2014..

he argument of the lawyer member of the defense   Carlos Carrillo, of  Martinelli’s defense team            argues that the audios that have been heard, are from  earlier years and do not relate to the file.choose files...


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Martinelli defense continues stalling tactics


Posted 08/05/2019

IN THEIR ongoing battle to delay the day of justice for ex-president Ricardo Martinell two new appeals, the latest in a long succession on unsuccessful amparos have been presented by his defense lawyers.

In the first instance the defense made a request for a hearing regarding human rights violations, because, according to its allegations, its client remains isolated in the El Renacer Prison, where he has been detained since June 11, 2018, after being extradited from the United States

The other remedy is an appeal for constitutional guarantees against a decision of the president of the trial court, Roberto Tejeira, to allow the opening of compact discs without the "proper chain of custody".

Roniel Ortiz, Martinelli's team of lawyers, said that the date for the hearing on human rights that they requested has not yet been set. In his opinion, the isolation in which the ex-ruler is maintained violates his constitutional guarantees.

Lawyer Carlos Carrillo filed before the First Superior Court of Justice the amparo, which attacks the decision taken by Tejeira on April 5, which allowed the opening of two DVD-type compact discs, which were recognized by the expert from the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences Luis Rivera Calle .

The amparo alleges that in the order to open the trial DVD should be introduced by the expert Gustavo Scott and that this is a violation of the fundamental rights of his client.

The appeal which was distributed on  Monday and was in the office of Judge Olga Rujanosays that Rivera Calle was not the person who made the extraction of the information contained in the DVD and that this situation should be corrected by the court.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez -who leads the team of the Public Ministry in the trial- explained that in yesterday's hearing a new DVD was analyzed, containing the audio of a meeting of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), information that rested on a hard drive recovered in the National Security Council (CSN).

Vásquez said that said audio shows that the CSN carried out illegal activities of surveillance and monitoring of members of political parties.

He also specified that the DVD that is the object of analysis in the trial contains another 33 audios that must be reviewed and recognized by the expert Rivera Calle.

The hearing will be resumed on  Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Today, experts from the  Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences will make a copy of the open discs, to deliver t to Martinelli's defense


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Money laundering cloud haunts Martinelli


Igbacio Fabrega was jailed for 5 years

Posted 12/05/2019

A cloud that has been hovering on Ricardo Martinelli’s horizon for several years has moved ed closer as The First Criminal Court requested the First Primary Care Prosecutor's Office to investigate  possible  money laundering, based on statements made by the former Supervisory Supervisor of the Securities Market Superintendency (SMV) Ignacio Nacho Fábrega, on the use of privileged information in the defunct brokerage  Financial Pacific (FP).

An edict posted  Thursday, May 9 at the headquarters of the First Criminal Court, s announced  the call to the prosecutor's office to investigate the alleged laundering.

During the trial held in August 2015 in which he was finally sentenced to 60 months in prison for corruption of a public official, Fabrega confessed to having given information about the actions of the SMV to FP, following by instructions -according to him- of then president    Martinelli and close ally  Salomón Salo Shamah,  Tourism Administrator.

Fábrega also stated that on one occasion he went to the Presidency of the Republic to personally deliver to Martinelli a certificate from the SMV in which he made sure that the former president governor was not related to the High Spirit account, the same one that was used by FP to buy shares of Petaquilla Gold and manipulate the Canadian stock market, reports La Prensa..

In September 2017, Judge  Hernán De León - acting as a prosecutor - traveled to Canada to submit a request for judicial assistance, after the SMV certified copies of the administrative investigation followed by the purchase and sale of Petaquilla Gold shares. De León investigated the role of Martinelli, who was then a deputy of Parlacen.



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Martinelli defense claims rights violations


Posted 12/05/2019

The defense team of former Panama president  Ricardo Martinelli continues with multiple motions seen by observers as delaying tactics in his trial for spying on opponents and embezzlement as he approaches his second year in detention.

  The defense has requested a new audience for the affectation of human rights, but on this occasion, it does so within the complaint filed by the former president against the government minister, Carlos Rubio, for the alleged commission of the crime against individual liberty reports La Prensa.

Jessica Canto, of Martinelli's team of high priced lawyers, said that initially the hearing was scheduled for May 14, within the process that is followed by her to his client for crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy and embezzlement, but that he desisted from it. Canto explained that now a new hearing is being managed, but inside the folder of the complaint filed against Rubio.

Martinelli's lawyers denounced the minister for some acts that qualify as an attack against human rights, including keeping him confined in a cell and not allowing him to interact with the rest of the inmates of El Renacer Prison, which ere he entered on June 11. 2018, when he was extradited from the United States.

Prosecutor  Kenia Purcell declared herself unable to hear the complaint filed by Martinelli and sent it to the Superior Prosecutor's Office for Primary Care for due process.

Carlos Herrera Morán, a plaintiff in the suit against Martinelli for alleged espionage and embezzlement, considered that this is one more strategy of his defense to delay the oral trial.

The defense also filed two constitutional guarantees, objecting to decisions of Judge Roberto Tejeira, also with the purpose -according to Herrera Morán- of delaying the case.



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