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Martinelli sons named in Spanish  Odebrecht  bribery files


Rodrigo Tacla Durán,

Posted 13/05/2019

The names of  the fugitive sons of Ricardo Martinelli are included  in statements of Rodrigo Tacla Durán, a key operator in the Odebrecht  bribery structure, sent by  Spanish authorities  to Panama’s   Special Anticorruption Prosecutor

The statements are key to confirm facts that are part of the investigation in the country reports La Prensa

For example, reinforce the inherent management of the societies in Andorra of the brothers  Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli.

Tacla also talks about the 2009-2014 election campaign, and the presidential candidate for  Cambio Democrático José Domingo Arias, as well as the presence of Mónica Moura and Joao Santana, Brazilian campaign advisers linked to Odebrecht.

Tacla also refers to other people imputed in Panama. Meanwhile, in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País, Tacla involved several Latin American presidents and presidents, including  Ricardo Martinelli and Juan Carlos Varela, in alleged illegal acts.

According to Tacla, he practiced in an illegal office: the Odebrecht Structured Operations Sector, that is, its bribery department.



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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 defense “morbid, epic expectations”


Posted 15/05/2019

Martinelli defense “morbid and epic expectations”

Aurelio Vásquez.The state prosecutor against Organized Crime,  handling the case against former president Ricardo Martinelli, accused of illegal spying on over 150 political opponents says he does not understand the  "epic expectations" of the defense team.

Led by Sydney Sifton they have been trumpeting to media their progress in the closed   oral trial of Martinelli,  which was due to resume at 9:00 am, on  Wednesday but it was elbowed aside by another high profile case and  finally started at 11:35 am,  in another room, with the cross-examination of the expert Luis Enrique Rivera Calle, chief of Informatics at the Institute of Legal Medicine and Sciences Forensic (Imelcf).

On  Tuesday, when questioned by the defense, Rivera Calle warned that he was not responsible for the chain of custody of the evidence that was extracted from the computers of the National Security Council in August 2014, as it had been violated. However, the expert has recognized all the digital evidence -audios, videos, images- that have been presented so far in the process.

"He has said some things that the court definitely has to ponder and have to ponder that he has certified that all his work was focused on the information he did as an expert," said Prosecutor  Vásquez.

What was declared by the expert will be later contrasted with the testimony of the victims of the illegal espionage of the National Security Council and the does not understand the " the epic of the expectations so high" that the defense has predicted will occur with the testimony of Rivera Calle.

"I would like to see how the court will evaluate when the victims come and say 'yes, that's mine, and that, why did I have to be in the Security Council?' And we are talking about victims who are not necessarily related to each other, it is there where the court has to grasp the veracity and the accreditation of the expert, "reports La Prensa.said the prosecutor. 

Martinelli arrived   at the court  from El Renacer prison handcuffed in the midst of a strong police operation at 8:38 am handcuffed and escorted from El Renacer prison, where he is provisionally detained since he arrived extradited for the United States, on June 11, 2018.

The defense team of the former governor was "triumphalist" on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 14 at the end of the trial session.

According to Sidney Sitton, Martinelli's lawyer, Rivera Calle "did not hide anything" and revealed how he was "pressured" and that he received "instructions" to do his job as an expert reports La Prensa.

The prosecution, meanwhile, warned that "there is still a long way to go in the process."



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Martinelli trial resumes, defense promises revelations


Posted 20/05/2019

The trial of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli for illegal interception of communications of at least 150 people while he was in office, resumed behind closed doors on Monday, May 20.

Martinelli's legal team, led by lawyer Carlos Carrillo, will continued today with cross-examination of to the expert of the Legal Medicine Institute, Luis Rivera Calle,  the first expert called  in the  trial which has had numerous delayed due to investigation of Martinelli supposed  health issues  and numerous delaying  appeals by his defense team, most of which were rejected.

The lead  Prosecutor, Aurelio Vásquez, said indicated that there are still more testimonies to be introduced and evacuated. He also expressed concern about statements from the defense in that "today something will be unveiled."

"In an accusatory system, it is not possible to specify what the witness, the victim or, in this case, the expert, will render," said the prosecutor.

Martinelli has been is held in El Renacer prison since June 11 last year, when he was extradited from the United States to face trial.



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Prosecution witness in Martinelli trial in fear after threats


Posted 25/05/2019

After a day of explosive testimony revealing the inner workings of Panama’s security spy agency a  key prosecution witness in the  spying trial of   former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli fears for her safety  following after receiving messages  from former workmates in the National Security Council (CSN)

Agent Jubilo Graell filed a complaint on Friday night, June 24  night with the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) for "fear" of his physical "security", after receiving chats and audios, allegedly from ex-workmates, while he was testifying.

Graell told the Primary Care Section of the MP, in the hands of prosecutor Azael Samaniego, that at noon on Friday he received two audios from the cell phone of Jaime Agrazal, an ex-CSN member, who reproached him for his testimony.

In addition,he said that he received a chat that he believes "was written by   Ronny Rodríguez ", ex-director of the CSN, in which he called him a liar and warned him about his testimony.

 Rodriguez is a fugitive, wanted in the 16th Criminal Court  trial of  the former heads of the CSN Gustavo Pérez and Alejandro Garuz for the eavesdropping, and in which they were  both sentenced to 50 months in prison

"Being a witness on the part of the prosecution in the case of former President Martinelli, upon receiving these messages and audios  I fear for my safety," Graell said in the complaint.

In the trial of Garuz and Perez, Agrazal retracted his initial testimony of 2015, in which he confirmed that the CSN was spying, and said that he was pressured by the current head of the CSN, Rolando López, to say that.

False testimony
The Sixteenth Criminal Court has ordered an investigation of  Agrazal for the alleged commission of the crimes of simulation of a punishable act and false testimony.

Agrazal is among the witnesses who will be called by the defense.

Graell, who has worked since 2009 as a CSN  agent said in  court  that the deputy director  Ronny Rodriguez, made a daily report of the espionage work, which was delivered to the Presidency

Graell said that Rodriguez assigned him to  following specific targets, introducing herself in their lives and knowing in detail their activities, verifying their residences and even informing if they had lovers.

He explained that this information was given to Rodriguez and he sent it to "number 1", the nickname for Martinelli at the CSN.

Graell said that he joined the CSN in 2009 at the Public Order Department, where he was assigned to introduce himself in protests and demonstrations to report the participation of political activists and if money was paid to the participants or if they were given alcohol.

He  later went to the Intelligence Division, in which Rodriguez assigned her and together with  Jaime Agrazal, the surveillance of specific targets, among them, the now president Juan Carlos Varela - at that time vice president -, the journalist Castalia Pascual, the then leaders of the PRD Balbina Herrera and Mitchell Doens, the doctor Mauro Zúñiga, the environmentalist Raisa Banfield and the PRD deputy Leandro Ávila.

He said that in the case of Zúñiga he was entrusted with the task of letting the doctor know he was being followed, as a way to intimidate him.

"In the case of Varela,  his political meetings, the places where he had lunch, and his offices in Marbella were watched. Photos were taken and a "hot" report was sent to Rodríguez via WhatsApp, and that all the equipment used was from the CSN.

Graell said that shortly before the change of government, in 2014, Ronny Rodríguez ordered him to take a metal shelf from building 150, where the CSN operates in Quarry Heights, to the Presidency.

She said that she was covering a protest in Parque  Porras park when he received the call from Rodríguez, who told him that they were going to return “equipment  that had been lent to the council."

He testified that with Rodríguez and Javier Quirós he boarded a pick-up, they went to the Presidency and took out a metal shelf, and then they went to the headquarters of  Super 99 in Monte Oscuro. There, four security guards unloaded the equipment.

She recalled that Rodriguez did not have a good relationship with the then secretary of the CSN, Gustavo Pérez and that he even seemed to act independently.

Alejandro Garuz, who succeeded Perez as secretary of the CSN, “was a quiet man,” who had a goat they called Captain who even had a card in the facilities of the entity  
Prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez stated that Graell's statement confirms that there was a fraud on the part of those responsible for the recording, surveillance, and monitoring of persons with State resources.

Vásquez recalled that, in accordance with the 2010  Executive Decree which created the CSN, the person in charge of the entity is the President of the Republic, who at the time was Ricardo Martinelli.

The hearing will resume on  Monday, May 27.



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Speed up of witness hearings in Martinelli trial


Prosecutor Diana Callender

Posted 27/05/2019

The trial of former Panama president  Ricardo Martinelli for illegal interception of communications of at least  150 people is expected to move more swiftly as the prosecution will introduce at least two witnesses a day from the dozens they have waiting in the wings.

IProsecutorare calling for a  22 years sentence. Prosecutor Diana Callender said  Monday, May 26  before entering the hearing room in the  Plaza Ágora, that the dynamics will change this week, as they will have two testimonies  a day, unlike the previous audiences, with  one  witness on the stand  over  several days.

"The issue of surrendering testimonies will be more agile," she said. 

Since March 11, when Martinelli  was summoned to trial only three witnesses have testified, all introduced by the prosecution, but they have also been questioned by the defense.

The prosecution has a list of 74 witnesses, and Martinelli's defense has  28 .



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Protected  spy trial  witness directly fingers Martinelli


Posted 30/05/2019

A protected witness in a  hooded robe reaching to his feet and dressed in black, including gloved hands to hide his skin color, on Thursday, May 30   was the first witness to point directly to former President Ricardo Martinelli as the author of petitions to spy on different targets.  

Martinelli  is on , trial for illegal spying on political opponents, journalists trade unionists and businessmen. . The witnessed testified that he entered The National Police in 2009 and the Security Council in 2012 where his functions, included infecting telephones with the Pegasus equipment acquired by the government, and other equipment that served to infect computers and to know the files of the people they had been ordered to intervene. 

It began with the the system provided by the Israeli company MLM capable of infecting computers through a  spy program  The methodology to see the folders or files was a bit tedious so the program worked until 2011 when  his comrade Rony Rodríguez told him and William Pitti (now fugitives)  about the presence of a program that the President  wanted them to take over.

The program from the  Italian  Da Vinci Hacking Team company accessed emails and could activate the microphone of the computer in addition to taking pictures of the screen and even record the taps that the user made on the computer keyboard to know what he was writing. 

The Italian system could also work with BlackBerry. mobile devices that were most used at the time. So they managed to access, for example, the computer of Balbina Herrera and know her email code, download files and even know the content of the emails that had not been sent. 

The protected witness also described that they were able to access the mail of the political leader Mitchell Doens and know the money that his wife had in the bank account that was approximately $45,000. 

With the same system, they also infected the computers of José Luis Popi Varela and other political leaders. However, the system collapsed and the Security Council was forced to acquire a new one -  the Pegasus  much more sophisticated team with which they could access all the mobile data of the target people The relevant thing about the protected witness is that he was the

Daily reports
 His partner and boss Rony Rodriguez told him at one point that the president wanted to have a closed circle to operate the devices and that he was given a report in a yellow envelope daily that was left in the Presidency every morning. When the president was traveling, the reports accumulated until he arrived at his office.



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Defense protests protected witness at Martinelli trial


Posted 30/05/2019

The  trial of former President Ricardo Martinelli for allegedly ordering spying on opponents of his government (2009-2014), resumed on  Thursday, May 30, with the appearance of a protected witness.

The witness is the person who in 2014 informed the Auxiliary Prosecutor's Office that the "National Security Council (CSN) carried out" illicit interventions and interpretations ", using a device acquired by the State from an Israeli company society.  reports La Prensa. Among the "objectives" of the CSN, the witness listed up to 150 politicians, trade unionists, journalists, leaders of organized civil society and businessmen opposed to Martinelli. The interceptions -according to the protected witness- were carried out clandestinely.

The 's hearing began at 9:42 am and at 12:20 pm, Judge Roberto Tejeira- who presides over the trial court-decreed a recess. The defense objected to the witness's presentation because they claim not to be certain of his identity.

"The defense is afraid that the protected witness has opted not to declare through a closed circuit, but to enter the stand and face the situation ... The same thing he did in 2014 he will do 5 years later, in front of the court, and having the accused lord behind, because he is convinced that it is necessary to tell the truth, "said prosecutor Ricaurte González.

Carlos Carrillo, the coordinator of the  Martinelli team of lawyers, maintains that there have been violations at the intermediate stage and that he has no guarantees that, in effect, it is "the same person who passed himself off as a protected witness."

He added that the prosecution is using the figure of the protected witness to "get" a witness with a distorted voice that was rejected at the time by magistrate judge Jerónimo Mejía . Therefore, Carrillo said announced that he will present an appeal of constitutional guarantees. It would be the sixth appeal presented by the defense, none of which have been successful, but they have slowed the pace of the trial.

The protected witness is the sixth person to testify in the process since the trial began on March 11. The prosecution is expected to call  740 witnesses.

The first to come to the stand was the expert and head of Computing at the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Luis Enrique Rivera Calle. He was followed by the former CSN Computing chief, Iris González.



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Protected witness rolls back  carpet in Martinelli spy trial


Marinelli arrives from El Renacer prison

Posted 31/05/2019

A protected witness in the spying trial of former president Ricardo Martinelli was photographed by members of the defense legal team after he delivered explosive testimony of the operations of a small team spying on political leaders, judges businessmen, and even the president's mistress.

The protected witness requested protection for himself and his family for fear of reprisals. The trial court prohibited anyone to approach, reveal or present images of him.

The witness, a former official who worked at the Security Council (CSN), reported that during the administration of Martinelli three spy systems teams were acquired

The first was installed at a Super 99 office in Punta Pacifica the first two systems teams did not meet expectations and the Pegasus system was acquired, which gave full access to the cell phones of targets and with which the camera could be remotely operated and record ambient sound. The spy team was trained by a group of Israelis who stayed at the Miramar Intercontinental.

He confirmed that  Ronny Rodriguez, one of the team members delivered a daily consolidation report on espionage activities to  Martinelli. 

He recalled that this team managed to record a conversation between deputy Zulay Rodríguez and her husband, Álvaro Testa and that Martinelli gave instructions for a video to be made and then uploaded to  YouTube. 

The witness recited a list of  PRD  victims of the spying activity  among them, the president-elect, Laurentino Cortizo, Balbina Herrera, Mitchell Doens, Francisco Sanchez Cárdenas, Juan Carlos Arosemena and Pedro Miguel González, among others.

In the Panameñista Party, the targets were the current president  Juan Carlos Varela; his brother and deputy José Luis Varela, and the current mayor of Panama, José Isabel Blandón.

Another target was the then magistrate of the Electoral Tribunal Erasmo Pinilla. The current magistrate of the Supreme Court  Ayú Prado and ex-magistrate Víctor Benavides were also spied on.

There were also members of the Cambio Democrático party, such as former presidential candidate Rómulo Roux, former education minister Lucy Molinar, and Aurora, whom he identified as "President Martinelli's lover".

They were spying on officials from the United States Embassy, and businessmen Nicolás González Revilla, and Stanley Motta.

Aurelio Vásquez, from the prosecution team, said that the evidence s of the protected witness was overwhelming, and confirmed in detail the circumstances already described by other witnesses.

 Once the defeat of  Cambio Democrático in the elections of May 2014, was known he was ordered to dismantle all equipment, including two laptops - one of which was in the hands of the ex-president that were restored to their original state with everything,  deleted.



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Spy equipment and training  in Super 99 offices - Witness


de Obarrio, Martinelli and his wife Marta in happier times

Posted 04/06/2019

The  name of the fugitive  Adolfo Chichi De Obarrio the   former  private secretary of ex-president Rivardo Martinlli  surfaced in the Martinelli  spying  trial, on Monday June 3 when a protected witness revealed  that he had access to an email that the former  director of the National Security Council (CSN) Ronny Rodríguez sent to  De Obarrio .

In the email Rodriguez stated that the Da Vinci equipment team, provided by the Hacking Team for espionage, was causing problems.

The witness explained that in the mail, sent by the company RCS Support and of which De Obarrio was notified -, it is mentioned that the team had synchronization problems.

He specified that the bandwidth for the DaVinci team's servers was not enough, so the system gave many problems and this caused loss of information that could not be recovered later.

He indicated that the equipment was not registered as CSN assets.

He said that he met De Obarrio during one of the training sessions that took place in the offices of the Super 99 in Punta Pacifica for the handling of the spy equipment , and that on that occasion de Obarrio he invited him for lunch.

He recalled that this system had many problems for its operation and required that the servers be restarted frequently to update it.

He said that he also recognized emails sent by Ronny Rodríguez and William Pittí, (both current fugitives) who together with him composed the team that handled the wiretaps, in which they were given instructions to activate the Da Vinci equipment and that they were delivered by the company in charge of providing technical support.

 Aurelio Vásquez , from the team of public prosecutors , acknowledged that there is an email in which De Obarrio is mentioned and that there is judicial inference from those who were interested in the private lives of many people.He warned that this situation will be assessed by the judges at the time of sentencing and that all the evidence presented will be reviewed.

During the hearing, the protected witness also reported that he reviewed at least 80 emails corresponding to interceptions made by CSN officials in 2012.

They  intercepted emails of Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD),like   Juan Carlos Navarro and Mitchell Doens , which listed the donors to of the party, and the information was sent to a local newspaper.

 He  identified emails listed the names of multiple  wiretap victims and recalled that No. 1 (as Martinelli was known in the CSN) was interested in the information .

In  one conversation, reference is made to the lawsuit filed by Martinelli against  Juan Carlos Varela - then Vice President and now President for $30 million.

Popi Varela had another conversation with the ex-deputy Alcibiades Vásquez,  in which details were given of large sums of money assigned to deputies of the National Assembly.

The witness also admitted that  emails of  former presidential candidate Balbina Herrera were intercepted ,  and she  was one of the "targets" that were monitored permanently



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Martinelli fugitive sons named to “Den of thieves"


Ricardo Martinelli and his two sons

Posted 05/06/2019

The two  fugitive sons of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli, wanted to face trial in Panama on numerous corruption charges have been   proclaimed  alternate deputies  to represent Panama in the Central American Parliament (Parlacen ) famously labeled their father as a “den of thieves”

Luis Enrique Martinelli and Ricardo Martinelli were among 20 named by The National Search Board (JNE) on Wednesday, May 6.

Meanwhile, the evidence against their father in a wiretapping trial continues to mount with the prosecution calling for a 22-year sentence if he is found guilty.



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Spy team ordered to report directly to Martinelli – Witness


Martinelli wants trial speeded up

Posted 06/06/2019

The  three-man “special affairs” team spying on over 150 people in Panama during the reign of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli did not report to the bosses of the Security Council (CSN), but were ordered to report directly to the president said a protected witness during the Martinelli’ wiretapping trial on Wednesday, June 5.

According to the witness, agents Ronny Rodríguez, William Pitti and he did not report to either Gustavo Pérez or Alejandro Garuz, but both were aware of the existence of the group.

He said that upon the arrival of Gustavo Pérez at the 150th building of the CSN -in March 2012- he was taken to a tour of the place and Ronny Rodríguez informed him of what was being done there. At that time, the Da 'Vinci spy system was in operation and Perez recommended that it be removed from these facilities and taken to the F & F tower - known as the screw - where he had offices. However, Rodriguez explained that Martinelli decided to stay there.

The witness said he was not sure if Perez knew about the interceptions with the Pegasus system since he did not report them to him.

As for Garuz, who arrived at the CSN in September 2012, he explained that he was only informed of the interceptions made to Filemón Medina, former secretary general of the Union of Journalists, with whom he had had an altercation.

In his evidence, the witness also detailed interceptions on the phone and emails of numerous opposition politicians.

Carlos Carrillo, of Martinelli's defense team, said his client complained about how extensive the producing evacuation of prosecution witnesses has been and asked the judge to streamline the process.



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Witness lifts lid on Martinelli era spying activities


A TVN depiction of how the protected witness made his first court appearance

Posted 07/06/2019

The protected witness in the trial of Ricardo Martinelli for illegal wiretapping and  embezzlement has produced  some  powerful revelations with fingers pointing directly  to “Number 1”  as the three-man spy team called Martinelli

He has also revealed the presence of Israeli experts to provide training and support and detailed the presence of equipment (now disappeared), in offices of the Martinelli owned Super 99, where he met Martinelli’s  personal secretary Adolfo Chichi  de Obarrio (now a fugitive)

Prominent  oppositions, journalists  businessmen and even Supreme Court judges were included on the list of monitored “targets” with daily reports transcribed and delivered in a yellow envelope to the  then  president,  

The witness, a graduate in computer science, from the Technological University of Panama  joined the National Police as a researcher and at the end of 2009 was recruited as a member of the Security Council.

 During his testimony appearance, the witness not only acknowledged that the team   did illegal wiretapping  but even confessed he himself made taps and them, said that he transcribed the conversations they were collecting through the  Da Vinci and Pegasus equipment could intercept phone calls, emails, WhatsApp conversations, bb pin, photos and even cell phone cameras. The systems were so sophisticated that all theat information collected was sent to Ronny Rodríguez's emails with a copy to William Pitti whose mission was to analyze it and determine to send it to number 1, the witness said.

He said stressed that  Rodriguez recruited him when the government changed in 2010, who explained that an elite group would be formed to intercept calls for number 1, in this way the   According to this testimony, the target of the interceptions were people from different sectors of Panamanian society, politicians, including members of his own CD party businessmen, journalists, and citizens assigned by Rony Rodríguez.

Among the names he has mentioned are: Mitchell Doens, Juan Carlos Varela, Balbina Herrera, Juan Carlos Navarro, Yassir Purcait, Vivian Torrijos, Martín Torrijos, Leandro Ávila, Pedro Miguel González, Javier Martínez Acha, Francisco Sánchez Cárdenas, Adolfo "Beby" Valderrama, Erasmo Pinilla, José  Judges Ayú Prado and , Víctor Benavides, José Luis Varela, Jorge Alberto Rosas, Priscilla Miró, Zulay Rodríguez, Mirta Varela, Rómulo Roux, Genaro López, José Muñoz, Saúl Méndez, Silvia Carrera, and Stanley Motta, Álvaro Alvarado, Castalia Pascual, Syria Miranda and Rubén Polanco.

The witness validated contents stored in CDs and previously analyzed in the oral proceedings.

Defense lawyers have complained about the length of the trial and Martinelli who earlier wanted a day off each week for health reasons asked the court to meet on Saturdays. The request was denied.

Martinelli has been in the El Renacer prison since June 11 last year when he was extradited from the United States after spending a year in a Miami detention center.



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Identified in court enraged Martinelli calls witness a liar


PROTECTED witness fingered ex-president

Posted 10/06/2019

The protected witness in the wiretapping trial of   Ricardo Martinelli on Monday, June 10 identified the ex-president as the person to whom he delivered two compact discs, with information obtained from two computers, in the National Assembly.

He said that he went to the Presidency of the Republic and gave Martinelli the two compact discs with the information and that the ex-president reviewed them and kept both. Martinelli called the witness a liar.

Defense Carlos Carrillo,  said that these are facts outside the accusation since his client is investigated for events of 2012 -14.

During the session, Judge Roberto Tejeira asked the protected witness if the person to whom he gave the information was in the room and he pointed to Martinelli and said: “You know me, Mr Martinelli, you know me  you do.” Martinelli called the witness a liar and asked for more respect.

The response followed a detailed s  made by the protected witness in which he claimed that a Panameñista deputy helped them to enter the National Assembly to contaminate two computers of the Panameñista party with the Da Vinci system and as the computers had no key it was easy to perform the work.

As it was Friday, his boss Rony Rodríguez went to Santiago de Veraguas, as he did on weekends. The witness told the court that Rodriguez told him that Martinelli wanted the information that had been extracted in the Assembly and that he should look for it in building 150 of the National Security Council.

When  he had the information that was on two DVDs Rodriguez  ordered him to go to the Presidency of the Republic where one of the president's collaborators would wait for him

The witness said he was received by a person, named Sebastián, who took him to an office within the Presidency where former President Ricardo Martinelli was with a group of women.

When he saw him the president moved away, took the discs and inserted one into the computer and there he supposedly checked the files. He laughed and asked the protected witness if he knew what was there, to which he answered “no”. Then Martinelli took the other record and did the same. The witness said that he left and the president kept the two discs.

prosecutor González asked t if he misunderstood, that he greeted the former president. The witness confirmed that he did. The prosecutor asked him if the person he greeted was in the room, the witness answered “yes”. Then, while he was sitting, he turned around, and with the microphone pointed to Martinelli out and said: "Mr. Martinelli, you know me, of course, you do". This provoked  Martinelli to call angrily: "You are daring and you are a liar".The court president called for order in the courtroom.



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Martinelli’s  release from prison faces appeal


Homeward bound

Posted 12/06/2019

Former president Ricardo Martinelli returned to his home  under police escort  early Wednesday, June 12 instead  of to  El Renacer Prison where he  had been held since his extradition to Panama on June 11 last  year  to face trial for illegal wiretapping. which could  carry a sentence of  up to 21 years.

The decision was snnounced after an all night   wait while the three judges  overseeing his trial  debated his release.

After declaring that they were competent to deal with the request for a change of injunction, the judges  at 5 pm on Tuesday  announced that they would take a recess until 9:00 pm  However, the  decision was not announced until  5:00 am on Wednesday.

His release  from provisional detention includes several measures, including among them  house arrest;, cannot  leave the country; country, must deliver his passports (Panamanian and Italian); cannot approach or communicate with the victims; cannot comment on social networks or give  media interviews.

Martinelli ill be transferred by the National Police each time he goes to a hearing or has a medical appointment, which he must communicate in advance. his wife, Marta de Martinelli,  will be the guarantor of compliance with the measures.

It was a long night for the defendant, the defense, the prosecutors, the journalists who cover the  trial.

The judges will hear  appeals  by prosecutos against  his realease  and by the defense over the terms on Friday, at 10 a.m.



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OPINION: Martinelli defense tactics rewarded


Posted 13/06/2019

Former President of the Republic Ricardo Martinelli is at home. That was the decision made by the trial court that conducting his carries out  trial. This decision was made despite the fact that there is a missing puncture machine, entire files of the victims with unknown whereabouts, and the causes that justified the provisional detention remain.

The risk of being removedfrom the process or the witnesses or expert witnesses being pressured are real possibilities. That is why the federal judges who saw his case in the United States did not grant bail or any other precautionary measure.

The reasons that led to the process taking a year without a judicial decision of innocence or guilt have been given are attributable to the defense strategy chosen by the defendant himself. His lawyers filed dozens of appeals, some repetitive and therefore dilatory, all with the same purpose. The case is not over.

The Public Prosecutor's Office,hould continue and the defense challenging  the allegations, so that the three magistrates decide in law what corresponds. Panamanians must watch that this is fulfilled - LA PRENSA, June 13.



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Witness maintains ex-president gave spying orders


Martinelli now at home

Posted 14/06/2019

The defense o Panama ex-president Ricardo Martinelli has not been able to weaken the testimony of the protected witness said the prosecution team at the close of Thursday’s hearing into illegal interception of communications.

The protected witness said yesterday that, although he does not know that  the former President Ricardo Martinelli  personally gave the orders for political espionage, his immediate boss in the  National Security Council (CSN), Ronny Rodríguez, told him repeatedly that the ex-ruler  (referred to as Number 1)was the one who ordered the follow-ups and listened to political targets.

The statements  came during cross-examination of the witness by defense lawyer   Alfredo Vallarino,

Vallarino asked the witness directly if he had seen Martinelli order the eavesdropping, and he answered no, although he said that several times Rodriguez told him and his companion, William Pitti, that the ex-ruler l asked him to intervene certain telephone numbers.

Vallarino also questioned the witness in connection with the intervention made to computers located in the National Assembly, belonging to the Panameñista Party, to which he also replied that he was not aware that Martinelli had ordered it, but indicated that Rodríguez ordered him to take the material obtained in that operation to the Presidency of the Republic and deliver it to Martinelli himself.

The lawyer also asked the witness why in 2014 he testified about the alleged relationship of Martinelli with the eavesdropping under anonymity, and the witness explained that  it was out of fear.

 Ricaurte González -of the prosecutors' team said that, after the cross-examination, Martinelli's defense has not been able to weaken the testimony of the protected witness, who has maintained his statements.

González stressed that the defense has tried to sell the idea that the witness has entered into great contradictions, but in fact, this has ratified dates, places, and events in which he participated with his colleagues from the National Security Council Ronny Rodríguez and William Pitti

On the other hand, during the hearing yesterday, the protected witness acknowledged that in mid-March he met with prosecutors Ricaurte González and Aurelio Vásquez at the Washington hotel in Colón, and at that meeting they asked him to appear as a witness.

Meanwhile, the president of the trial court, Judge Roberto Tejeira, ordered a that  Balbina Herrera,  of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and victim of the interceptions, to leave the room.

The judge argued that Herrera was requested as a witness by the prosecutor's office and that she could be required again in the trial, which could contaminate the process if she heard the testimony of other witnesses and the allegations of the complaint and the defense.

In response, Herrera said that as a victim he had the right to be in the trial. She urged other victims to appear at the hearing and to make clear their need for justice and to prevent this crime from going unpunished.

Judge Tejeira also reported that the court must answer part of a lawsuit filed by Martinelli's lawyers before international courts.



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Martinelli’s house arrest stays  plus  access to internet and media


Posted 15/06/2019

PANAMA’S Superior Appeals  Court  on Friday, June 14,   upheld the “house arrest” detention of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli hut partially modified one of the measures imposed by the Oral Trial Court where he is facing charges of embezzlement and illegal wiretapping,

The defendant can  now use social networks for any topic, except those that have to do with his investigation and the trial. and he may give media interviews with the same restriction.  The same evening he appeared on a TV station he controls.trial this

The president of the Court Adillio González reminded Martinelli that he is prohibited from using any method of communication with witnesses and victims of the case.

Two  appeals were filed by the prosecution,  against the decision to replace the provisional detention of Martinelli, in El Renacer prison.

An appeal lodged by the defendants alleged that the measures applied against the former president are very severe.

Prosecutor Ricaurte Gonzalez said that they will be vigilant that all precautionary measures are complied with and, in the event of non-compliance,  will request changes.

Marinelli’s wiretapping trial will resume on Monday.the protected witness from 9:00 am, at the headquarters of the Accusatory Penal System, in Plaza Agora.



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Martinelli confessed to wiretapping says victim


Michell Doens

Posted 18/06/2019

A former -leader of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Mitchell Doens, one of the plaintiffs' victims in the trial of  Ricardo Martinelli for alleged illegal surveillance said in court on Tuesday, June 18 espionage, hat the former president confessed that he had wiretapped him.

 Doens testifying under oath said the conversation with Martinelli would have occurred in El Renacer prison, where he was detained for a year, until last week.

The PRD politician, together with the lawyer David Cuevas, who represents the victim and plaintiff Rosendo Rivera, went to the prison to visit the ex-leader so Cuevas witnessed the  confession.

Doens hads previously identified   a score of emails, cell phone messages, and transcripts of conversations in the years 2012 and 2013, which were extracted from the account brad.pty507@gmail.com, and that the protected witness 8430145  indicated to the judges was material compiled by the National Security Council, following the orders of the then President Martinelli.

"Mr. Mitchell Doens is one of those with the most emails and information that had invaded his privacy," said prosecutor Diana Callender,  She  told reporters that everything declared by Doens agrees with the material and digital evidence.

Martinelli is prosecuted for the alleged commission of four crimes: the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and two types of embezzlement. The prosecution asks for a sentence of 21 years in prison.

 The ex-president arrived at,the court smiling and waving, accompanied by several policemen who escorted him from his residence in Altos del Golf, where he is under house arrest by order of the trial court. . Until last week, he was detained for a year, in El Renacer prison. The velvet hands of the judges with previous links to the CD  party that Martinelli founded, has raised concern in civic groups.. A former Martinello lawyer and wiretap victim has challenged the court's president and predicted that under his guidance Martinelli will walk free. and that the court president frequency looks at the defendant with an expression "Im doing my best."



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OFF THE CUFF: Judge denies Martnelli "give me more"pleas


AT HOME with his wife Marta, Martinell celebrated Father"s Day with a mariachi band

Posted 19/06/2019

ONLY Days after being transferred to the comfort of his luxury home,  from El Renacer where he enjoyed more benefits than his fellow prisoners, Ricardo Martinelli asks for more.

At his Tuesday trial hearing, the ex-president whose waistline belies an addiction to exercise became a born-again believer and asked the presiding the judge for permission to roam for exercise.

He got a quick response from judge Roberto Tejeira  who  denied the request and  suggested that the supermarket billionaire “Look for your treadmill or machines and take them to your  your home,”

Martinelli also wanted tp go to mass on Sundays and his days off from court hearings. That request was also denied by the judge: "

"Look for someone to do religious service in your house." where there is ample room for a confessional. Only  Martinelli owned  Panama America complained about the decisions.

On  Father's Day, the ex-president entertained his guests with a mariachi band. The next day in court he complained of high blood pressure



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Judge raps defense over Martinelli health ploy


A friendly shake

Posted 19/06/2019

AFTER three, months and seven days of hearings in the espionage trial of former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli only 7 witnesses have been heard, with at least 120 to follow.

Tuesday’s hearing was enlivened by the presiding judge Judge Roberto Tejeira asking defense lawyer Sidney Sitton to be more professional after he asked for 45 minutes to cross-question a witness, and a few minutes later asked for an adjournment because of  Martinelli’s health. The judge had earlier slapped down requests by Martinelli, now under house arrest, to go for exercise walks and to leave the house to go to mass.

Martinelli had appeared at the court smiling and waving and shaking hands with a police escort.

A plaintiff , former PRD  leader   Mitchell Doens acknowledged yesterday seven emails that were allegedly intercepted by the National Security Council (CSN) during the Martinelli administration o

He also acknowledged a telephone conversation he had with the indigenous leader Jaime Pedrol, about the closure of streets that several organizations maintained in the Ngäbe Buglé district, in opposition to the development of a mining project in that region.

Doens had already acknowledged a score of emails, cell phone messages, and transcripts of conversations corresponding to the years 2012 and 2013, which were extracted from the account brad.pty507@gmail.com, and which a  protected witness indicated to the judges that were material compiled by the CSN, following orders of the then president Martinelli.

In his testimony speech, Doens said that during a visit to El Renacer prison, Martinelli confessed that he had wiretapped him, but through a judicial order. The conversation with Martinelli was attended by the lawyer David Cuevas - who represents the victim and plaintiff Rosendo Rivera – so  Cuevas witnessed the confession.

Doens stated that on one occasion Gabriel Gaby Btesh, of  Martinelli's “circle zero” and now a fugitive proposed during a meeting held in the office of Alfredo Alemán the payment of  10,000  a month in exchange for "lowering the guard", that is, criticism against the Martinelli government and establish an electoral alliance against the "rabi-blancos. T

He said he had suspicions that it was followed through a GPS system, and as proof of this, in the raid on the house of former CSN secretary Gustavo Pérez, a USB was found with information about the tracking of the victim.

 William Granados, of the prosecution team, said that Doens' story was detailed and shed light for the judges on the defendant's interest in knowing the political actions carried out by the PRD. and that the intercepted emails were not judicially authorized prosecuted, as Martinelli alleged.

Sidney Sitton said Doens could never link Martinelli to espionage. He indicated that in cross-examination, Doens said there was no record of Martinelli ordering espionage in the CSN.

He described Doens as a contaminated witness, after confirming that he had participated in the proceedings against former CSN directors  Gustavo Pérez and Alejandro Garuz , in which they were convicted of espionage and sentenced to 50 months in prison by the Sixteenth Criminal Court.

  Judge Tejeira warned  Sitton, as defense lawyer, who asked in the first instance not to suspend the hearing, because he would cross-examine the witness quickly, but minutes later he said the opposite and requested to suspend the hearing, alleging Martinelli felt ill . The judge authorized 911 personnel to evaluate Martinelli, who resulted in high blood pressure. Martinelli has played the health card dozens of times since his extradition from the US and has been accused of refusing to take his medications.

Tejeira warned that he will adopt actions to prevent the trial from being delayed by petitions and actions that only seek to gain time.

The hearing will resume Thursday, with the conclusion of cross-examination to Mitchell Doens.

The prosecution has on the agenda 63 witnesses, . The plaintiffs have over  50 witnesses that they intend to take to the stand; while the defense plans a similar number reports La Prensa.



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Judge fears Martinelli retribution denies bribes


Judge Harry Diaz

Posted 20/06/2019

The trial of Ricardo Martinelli for alleged illegal interception of communications has  produced seven 7 prosecution witnesses to date with another  63 waiting in the wings, but there are already a number of related sub-plots developing including former Supreme Court Judge Harry Diaz, the original prosecutor appearing on Tele Metro to deny accusations on social media that he had sought  a $13 million bribe from Martinelli,

TVN reports a web of strong accusations that show how State resources were allegedly used to violate the privacy of citizens of all sectors of society.

Judge Diaz, one of the main actors was the prosecutor in charge of giving shape, meaning and depth to the findings of the case went public to defend himself against the accusations of "coimero" (bribery)  He said that during a visit to Palacio de las Garzas, when Martinelli was president, he confessed that he had intercepted a woman's communications, for personal purposes. According to Díaz, it is a fact that they  were illegal

PRD leader and seventh prosecution witness Mitchell Doens said that what was said by Judge Díaz reinforces what "we all know".

Doens added that just as Martinelli confirmed to Diaz that he was playing at least one person, so the former president told him that he had his conversations intercepted but with judicial authorization, although that has never been ratified by the Judicial Branch reports TVN.

For his part, Carlos Herrera Morán attorney complainant announced that they will present extraordinary evidence to be taken into account in the trial of Martinelli, it is the testimony of Judge Diaz and an "intimate friend" of the accused. However, this must be evaluated by the Oral Trial Court.

During the cross-examination of Doens  on Thursday by the Martinelli defense, the lawyer Alfredo Vallarino sought to show contradictions in the statements made by the witness in November 2014 before the Auxiliary Prosecutor's Office, and the material evidence during the oral trial; emails and recordings.

For the prosecution, this is an attempt by the defense to try to discredit Doens's testimony since he himself has recognized the material presented to him. At midday this Thursday,

Prior to this,  Doens, challenged businessman Alfredo Mello Alemán to a polygraph exam. This happened after the witness described delved into a lunch that took place in the offices of the businessman where he agreed with Gabriel Btesh, another businessman close to former President Martinelli. According to Doens, that was the second time that Btesh had offered him money to lower political pressure against the government in power. At that lunch, according to Doens, he told him to give him a number to reduce the l attacks the opposition was making on to the Martinelli government. According to Doens, this was a message from the then ruler which Alemán denied to media on this Thursday. So Doens threw him the challenge of undergoing a polygraph to know who is telling the truth.

Diaz said  on TV  it is a fact that there were illegal wiretapping because the former president confirmed it to him. during a visit to Palacio de las Garzas, … when Martinelli was president, he confessed that he had intercepted a woman's communications, for personal purposes. According to Díaz,  Mitchell Doens said hat what was said by  Díaz reinforces what "we all know".

Doens added that just as Martinelli confirmed to Diaz that he was playing at least one person, so the former resident told him that he had his conversations intercepted but with judicial authorization, although that has never been ratified by

Carlos Herrera Morán attorney complainant announced that they will present extraordinary evidence to be taken into account in the trial …  it is the testimony of Judge Diaz and an "intimate friend" of the accused. However, this must be evaluated by the Oral Trial Court.

For Sidney Sitton, lawyer of Martinelli it is about desperate acts of Diaz because he will soon finish his term as magistrate of the Supreme Court  and defense lawyer  Carlos Carrillo explained that in a meeting with Diaz they were approached for an agreement with the victims.

"I answered to you that this was totally false, even in the next hearing that took place in the intermediate phase, I told Mr. Martinelli very clearly that he was slandering me," Díaz said in an interview with Telemetro Reporta.

"After December 7, when the Court said that we had no jurisdiction in Martinelli's case because he resigned from Parlacen, then these people continue to attack me as ex-prosecutor of the case," the magistrate replied.

If anything happens to me it will be Martinelli These people know no bounds"   he said



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Marta Martinelli cancels  sons’ seats in “den of thieves”


MARTA Martinelli, (right) voids seats

Posted 21/06/2019

Marta Linares de Martinelli, wife of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli, armed with a power of attorney went to the Electoral Tribunal on Friday, June 21 and withdrew her two sons from their elected positions as substitutes in the Central American Parliament, (Parlacen).

Their withdrawal from what their father has labeled a “den of thieves” was made while 20 deputies and their alternates  received their credentials

The sons, Ricardo and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, were not present. They are fugitives, investigated for the bribes of  Odebrecht and the case of the company Blue Apple and on  bail in the US   facing an extradition process 

Ricardo Martinelli Linares was a substitute for Carlos Outten, for Cambio Democrático (CD.  Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares was a substitute for Héctor Valderrama, of the Alliance Party.



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Witness confirms spy team moved missing equipment to Super 99


MARTINELLI leaves court after new revelations tighten net

Posted 22/06/2019

The former head of Analysis of the National Security Council (CSN) , Edwin Ortiz, confirmed on Friday, June  21   that he operated an emails interception team in a  Quarry Heights building and that the team was trained by representatives of the Israeli company MLM Protection.

The $13 million equipment finally ended up in the head office of Super 99 owned   Ricardo Martinelli and has disappeared, leading to charges of embezzlement against the ex-president.  

.Ortiz appeared as a prosecution witness in Martinelli’ wiretapping trial He said that in 2011, Ronny Rodríguez - then deputy director of the CSN - told him that he had been selected to be trained in the handling of special equipment installed in building 150.

The training  was given by the Israeli citizen Mike Teren, to him  and Rodriguez and CSN agents William Pitti, Ismael Pitti, and Elvis Moreno

He said the software was installed on four computers that were brought from the National Police.

They worked with "targets" who were sent an email with a link that infected the computer when it was opened by the user. giving access to l. messages and the user's password.

He said that in the CSN he also operated a device called Circule, which was used for geolocation of cell phones, which was not very effective because it gave a very wide margin of the possible location of the "target".

According to Ortiz, the espionage teams were in an office at the top of building 150, with restricted access for the rest of the CSN staff.

He  gave names of targets including the Suntracs union leader  Genaro López and his children.

In 2014 his colleagues Júbilo Graell and Javier Quirós informed him that on Rodriguez's orders a rack with the CSN teams was moved to the Presidency of the Republic and then to the headquarters of the Super 99 in Monte Oscuro.

Prosecutor Ricaurte González said Ortiz confirmed the existence of a spy team that later disappeared from the CSN, validating the possible commission of the crime of embezzlement, for which Martinelli is also accused.

Gonzalez said that several witnesses - including Graell and the protected witness - have illustrated the trial court about the loss of spy equipment, so Ortiz's version cannot be considered isolated.

 Alfredo Vallarino, Martinelli's lawyer, said that the witness could not link his client with the wiretapping

Meanwhile, the president of the court, Roberto Tejeira, asked the defense and the prosecution not to repeat questions to the witnesses and not to delay the hearings. and   to try to deal with  least two witnesses each day of the hearing reports La Prensa.



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