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OPINION: One man’s judicial terrorism


Posted 03/07/2020

If there is something that former president Ricardo Martinelli knows how to do very well is using the law to intimidate. The justice system has been distorted, to the point that it has become a terrorist instrument, seeking to intimidate not only judicial officials but journalists, the media, even citizens who oppose or criticize it. Although the former president has the right to defend himself against what he believes to be attacks against him, the system must also reject what is clearly retaliation against officials who do their duty in the exercise of their duties. This legal harassment comes to be like a Damocles sword that hangs over the head of anyone who does not agree with his ideas or positions. How can a prosecutor or judge do their job if the system lends itself so that they can be prosecuted? It is quite clear what these complaints and demands are after: "If you are not with me, then you are against me." The antecedents that this gentleman is imposing with the abuse of the judicial system will diminish the strength of justice. Until when will these abuses continue? Enough fear of this judicial terrorism! -LA PRENSA July 3



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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 participation in Odebrecht bribes “is clear”


Martinelli resits transfer to public hospital [file photo]

Posted 03/07/2020

Martinelli participation in Odebrecht bribes “is clear”

Former President Ricardo Martinelli, charged with money laundering did not appear for his meeting with the Odebrecht corruption investigator on Friday, July 3, as he played a health card, used frequently while under investigation after being e from the United States but apparently never used while he spent a year in a Miami jail.  His claims included cancer and other “illnesses” for which he sought treatment from private doctors, rather than specialists in a public hospital.

"the participation" of Martinelli, in the collection of bribes paid by Odebrecht's Caja2 Department in exchange for the granting of multi-million dollar contracts for the construction of mega works during his administration is clear in says the investigatory order signed by the. special anti-corruption prosecutor, Tania Sterling. In the document to which TVN had access  it is indicated that this "was not only for the award of contracts but also for the streamlining of payments and bureaucratic processes, actions that were compensated through illicit money by the Odebrecht company, supposedly through his children Ricardo Alberto and Luis Martinelli Linares.

The facts contained in the investigation are serious, says TVN  because it mentions how millionaire bribes were received and there is a list of people allegedly involved.

These would be part of the reasons why the prosecutor decided to issue an investigation order against the ex-president, but he did not appear at the appointment that had been scheduled for this Friday, July 3, because he claimed that he is incapacitated.

"It has been shown that Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, as President of the Republic, carried out negotiations with representatives of the company Norberto Odebrecht, not only to benefit from the financing of the electoral campaign of the Democratic Change party, which he maintained as a candidate for José Domingo Arias but received payments in his favor and this was demonstrated with the documentary and testimonial evidence that rests in this case, "affirms the investigative order of the Public Ministry.

Martinelli has been charged with money laundering, linked to the company Odebrecht, which has acknowledged paying billions of dollars in bribes that resulted in being favored with state contracts in Panama and other countries.

The providence cites testimonies from Figures such as Mónica Moura and André Campos Rabello, as well as the joint-stock relationships that they point out "were used to triangulate payments for the benefit of Odebrecht".

They also detail the relationship with the presidential campaign of José Domingo Arias.

"Over the time that they were working for the Democratic Change party and raising the image of the Martinelli government, Odebrecht was making the payments and using  a front company named Isagon Investments with which it made a contract for $4.4 million

for marketing work The contract was signed with the company owned by Joao Santana named Shellbill with a Swiss account, the document explains.



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Sick” Martinelli dodges bullet threatens prosecutors


Posted 04/07/2020

As promised  ex-president, Ricardo Martinelli  was a no show at  the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office on  Friday, July 3 to face  an investigation into the Odebrecht case, claiming as so many times before” disability”

His lawyer Roniel Ortiz appeared at the Public Ministry and explained that the disability certificate that cardiologist Gabriel Frago signed for him and that was initially from July 1 to 3, was extended to July 7.

This reports La Prensa is the same doctor who issued the incapacity that he presented on Thursday at the Superior Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime, for an investigation of alleged money laundering in the case known as New Business where he invoked article 25 of the Constitution, which says that no one is obliged to testify against himself. He was prohibited from leaving the country and must report on the 15th of each month.

But medical incapacity is not the only legal strategy of the former president says La Prensa. He accused two of the prosecutors who have been handling the Odebrecht case for years: Tania Sterling and Ruth Morcillo. And he also challenged the prosecutor Emeldo Márquez, who is advancing the New Business case, tracking the purchase of the Epasa Group, allegedly with public funds.

"The mere signing of the investigatory resolution of Ricardo Martinelli is an abuse of authority and overreach of functions of these prosecutors, who have assumed the role of judge," said  Ortiz, who, , announced that next week they will proceed to freeze  the salary of prosecutors "who have broken the law."

Martinelli also clings to the principle of specialty contemplated in the extradition treaty between Panama and the United States, which states that a person can only be prosecuted for that case for which he was requested in extradition (illegal wiretapping of opponents ) and with the endorsement of the country where he was extradited. T

he United States, through its embassy in Panama and the State Department, has said since December 2019 that Panama does not need an endorsement to prosecute Martinelli for other cases, since it has traveled abroad since September 2019, thus incurring one of the exceptions to the specialty principle.



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OPINION: Justice terrorized


Posted 04/07/2020

Panamanian justice is in danger of collapsing due to the Creole mischief and the search for impunity. Never before, in the democratic era, have so many public servants and former officials of the Judicial Branch and the Public Ministry been directly threatened. Legal codes and ethical standards applicable to lawyers lagged behind the brazenness of medical certificates and intimidating pressures. Where is the National Bar Association? No one is safe in the face of the outbursts of a tycoon who seeks to choose his prosecutors and guarantee his good judges, to repeat the previous feat. Here, public opinion has to intervene to watch over prosecutors, investigators and judges, who are easy prey for a corrupt system, which wants to chase and terrorize them.LA PRENSA, Jul.4 



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Martinelli sons seized in Guatemala in US money laundering probe


Posted 06/07/2020

The two sons of former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli were arrested in  Guatemala on  Monday, July 6   were detained in Guatemala on Monday, July 6  following a request for extradition to the United States, where they are required in a case of an alleged conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The Guatemalan National Civil Police reported that thr  Brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares were captured shortly before noon at the La Aurora airport, as they were preparing to board a private humanitarian flight.

Both were under  "surveillance and monitoring since June 30 of this year, after  having classified information that today [Monday] they would be leaving the country."

“These persons, when identified, are notified of a provisional arrest warrant for extradition purposes dated July 3 of this year, for conspiracy to commit money laundering involving a specific activity according to the United States code, according to the order of the Multi-person Criminal First Instance Court for Narco Activity and Crimes Against the Environment in Guatemala, ”the Police reported in a note shared by his spokesman Edwin Monroy.

Ricardo Alberto, 40, and Luis Enrique, 38, carried passports that accredited them as members of the Central American Parliament ( Parlacen ), whose headquarters are in Guatemala, and said they had Italian-Panamanian nationality. They also had four cell phones and cash reports La Prensa.



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Ricardo Martinelli Linares es enviado a prisión de Mariscal Zavala en Guatemala


Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares, hijo del exmandatario panameño Ricardo Martinelli

Nimay González

Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares, hijo del exmandatario panameño Ricardo Martinelli, será enviado provisionalmente a la prisión Mariscal Zavala de Guatemala, mientras se fija la fecha de audiencia en la que se decidirá sobre su extradición.

La decisión de traslado fue establecida por el Tribunal Tercero que tendrá a su cargo la situación legal de Ricardo Martinelli Linares, debido a que hasta el momento no ha recibido el expediente correspondiente por lo que no puede fijar la fecha y hora de la audiencia.

Por otro lado, se espera que el Tribunal Quinto, que estará a cargo del caso de Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, decida a qué centro de privación será enviado mientras espera que se conforme el Tribunal e ingrese el expediente.

Ambos tribunales deben desarrollar audiencias para consultarle a los hermanos Martinelli Linares si quieren adherirse al proceso de extradición.

Más temprano los dos hermanos comparecieron ante un juzgado donde se les comunicó el motivo de su detención.

Cabe mencionar que Ricardo Martinelli Linares, de 40 años, y Luis, de 38, quienes fueron capturados el lunes 6 de julio en el Aeropuerto La Aurora de Guatemala, donde tomarían un vuelo con supuesto destino a Panamá, son solicitados para extradición a Estados Unidos, para enfrentar un proceso penal ante la justicia de este país por su presunta participación en un esquema de sobornos masivos y lavado de dineros de la constructora brasileña Odebrecht, de acuerdo a un documento del Departamento de Justicia.

Ambos son señalados por participar como intermediarios para el pago de 28 millones de dólares en sobornos a un funcionario de alto rango del Gobierno de Panamá, que tiene un vínculo con ambos acusados.


Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of the above news article, less the embedded Tweet.


Ricardo Martinelli Linares is sent to Mariscal Zavala prison in Guatemala


Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares, son of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli

Nimay González • Jul 7, 2020 - 01:18 PM

Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares, son of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, will be provisionally sent to the Mariscal Zavala prison in Guatemala, while the hearing date is set in which his extradition will be decided.

The transfer decision was established by the Third Court, which will be in charge of the legal situation of Ricardo Martinelli Linares, due to the fact that he has not received the corresponding file so far, so he cannot set the date and time of the hearing.

On the other hand, the Fifth Court, which will be in charge of the case of Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, is expected to decide which deprivation center he will be sent to while waiting for the Court to comply and enter the file.

Both courts must hold hearings to consult the Martinelli Linares brothers if they want to join the extradition process.

Earlier, the two brothers appeared before a court where they were informed of the reason for their arrest.

It is worth mentioning that Ricardo Martinelli Linares, 40, and Luis, 38, who were captured on Monday, July 6 at the La Aurora Airport in Guatemala, where they would take a flight with an alleged destination to Panama, are requested for extradition to the United States. , to face a criminal process before the justice of this country for its alleged participation in a scheme of massive bribes and money laundering by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, according to a document from the Department of Justice.

Both are accused of participating as intermediaries for the payment of $ 28 million in bribes to a high-ranking official of the Government of Panama, who has a relationship with both defendants.



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Martinelli brothers in Guatamala jail after FBI laundering investigation


Clipped wings

Posted 07/07/2020

The brothers Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares, the sons of former president Ricardo Martinelli are in preventive detention in a Guatemala military prison awaiting an appearance   before two different judges, after being arrested on Monday, July 6, at La Aurora International Airport.

The defense has asked that both brothers serve preventive detention in the same compound and that they be given isolation against COVID-19.

They were, arrested Monday and taken to court this Tuesday, to begin the process of their extradition to the United States, where they are wanted for an alleged conspiracy to launder money.

Luis Enrique's lawyer claimed his client's immunity, but was informed that this would be discussed with judges in charge of the court; Only substitute judges acted on  Tuesday.

No dates have been set for new hearings and they must remain in a prison. As there are several judges suspended in the Fifth Court, the Luis Enrique case could take longer.

If the courts consider that the extradition request complies with the requirements set forth in the bilateral treaty between the US and Guatemala, , delivery to the country is granted.

The US  has a period of between 40 to 90 days to formalize its request and send a copy of all the documents that link the Martinelli Linares with the reported events. The extradition request was communicated on July 3.

At the conclusion of the hearing it was learned that they will be sent to an isolated area of the Mariscal Zavala military prison, which is inside a barracks that also hols Guatemalan politicians who have been identified in corruption cases, such as former President Otto Pérez Molina and several of the ministers of your government.

Both upon and leaving the courtroom, Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique were handcuffed and escorted by agents.  They left in silence, without making statements to waiting journalists.

The brothers were arrested a, when they were preparing to board a private plane belonging to their father bound for Panama. Guatemala does not know when and how they entered the country, but authorities have said that there has been a "follow-up and surveillance" operation since June 30.

According to the indictment filed by  FBI Special Agent Michael Lewandowski with the Eastern District Court of New York, Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique reportedly participated as "intermediaries" in bribery payments of $28 million, " under the leadership of Odebrecht ”. The monies would have benefited a Panamanian public servant, whose name is not listed at the moment in the US indictment, but who is described as "an officer with a very high position in the Panamanian government and a  close relative” of the two accused. between 2009 and 2014”  - a period corresponding to the  presidential mandate of  Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal

Panama America, the Martinelli owned  newspaper whose acquisition is the subject of a criminal investigation, gave a sanitized report of the court appearance with no details of the FBI probe.



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Detained brothers  “den of thieves” ploy may be stymied


Posted 07/07/2020

The Martinelli siblings Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares resting in a Guatemala prison while the United States  works on their extradition to face money laundering charges involving at least  $28 million hope to use their membership of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen)  as a get out of jail card   got a reality check on Tuesday, July 7, when  parliamentarian Gilberto Sucari, who is vice president of the regional body, once described by their father as a “den of thieves”.told TVN Noticias: “They have not been sworn in”

According to Suvari, the Martinelli Linares brothers have not submitted the request to be sworn in.

The lawyers of Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto show a note from Carlos Rafael Fión, secretary of the Parlacen board of directors. The letter does not say whether or not they were sworn into office, but it does say that the Electoral Tribunal of Panama issued "credentials" about their election.

The letter that was circulated on Monday, July 6 on the social networks of the deputy Carlos Outten,  the main deputy of Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares. Both are from the Cambio Democrático (CD) party. Luis Enrique Martinelli, meanwhile, is a member of the Alliance party and the principal deputy is Héctor Abdiel Valderrama.

Panama has 20 deputies in the regional forum.



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Three countries involved in capture  of Martinelli sons


Posted 07/07/2020

.A criminal complaint filed by a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, accusing the Martinelli Linares, sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli of participation in a massive bribery and money laundering scheme. money involving the Brazilian company Odebrecht is why the US  wants their extradition  from Guatemala where they were arrested on Monday, July 6

According to the Department of Justice, the brothers who are fugitives from Panama.   opened and managed bank accounts of shell companies in foreign jurisdictions.

" These secret bank accounts were used to receive, transfer, and deliver bribe payments (…) Many of these financial transactions were in US dollars and were made through US banks, some of which were located in New York, " says a Department statement.

The Martinelli Linares who will face a hearing of today before a Guatemalan judge served as intermediaries for the payment of bribes for an approximate amount of $28 million by Odebrecht to a former high-ranking government official in Panama, who is a close relative of the accused, says the statement.

FBI personnel in New York are conducting the investigations.

It was also revealed that the police authorities in Guatemala, including the Public Ministry and the police authorities in El Salvador, participated in the capture of the fugitive brothers who are also facing investigations in Panama but have been on the rin in the US for five years.



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Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Monday, July 6, 2020

Two Defendants Charged for Their Role in Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Involving Former High-Ranking Government Official in Panama

Individuals Facilitated $28 Million in Bribes from Odebrecht S.A. to the Official

A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares (Luis Martinelli Linares) and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares (Ricardo Martinelli Linares) for their roles in a massive bribery and money laundering scheme involving Odebrecht S.A. (Odebrecht), a Brazil-based global construction conglomerate. 

On Dec. 21, 2016, Odebrecht pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York to a criminal information charging it with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for its involvement in the bribery and money laundering scheme. 

The overarching Odebrecht scheme involved the payment of more than $700 million in bribes to government officials, public servants, political parties, and others in Panama and other countries around the world to obtain and retain business for the company.  The two individual defendants are alleged to have participated in the scheme by, among other things, serving as intermediaries for approximately $28 million in bribe payments made by and at the direction of Odebrecht to a then high-ranking government official in Panama (Panama Government Official), who was a close relative of the defendants.  Luis Martinelli Linares and Ricardo Martinelli Linares were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  

Luis Martinelli Linares and Ricardo Martinelli Linares were arrested at el Aeropuerto Internacional la Aurora in Guatemala on July 6 pursuant to a provisional arrest request from the United States.  

As alleged in the complaint, between approximately August 2009 and January 2014, the defendants facilitated the payment of bribes from Odebrecht to or for the benefit of the Panama Government Official by taking a number of steps that included opening and managing secret bank accounts held in the names of shell companies in foreign jurisdictions.  These secret bank accounts were used to receive, transfer, and deliver the bribe payments.  The defendants served as the signatories on certain of the shell company bank accounts, and personally sent and caused to be sent wire transfers through the structure of shell company bank accounts to conceal and spend bribery proceeds.  Many of these financial transactions were in U.S. dollars and were made through U.S. banks, some of which were located in New York.

The charges in the complaint announced today are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The FBI’s International Corruption squad in New York investigated this case.  Trial Attorney Michael Culhane Harper of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, Trial Attorneys Barbara Levy and Michael Redmann of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alixandra Smith and Julia Nestor of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York are prosecuting the case.

The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance.  The Brazilian Ministerio Publico Federal, Departamento de Polícia Federal, law enforcement authorities in Guatemala including the Public Ministry of Guatemala and Specialized Unit for International Affairs, and law enforcement authorities in El Salvador provided significant cooperation.

The Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters.  Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.



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Eldest son of Ricardo Martinelli faces extradition hearing Friday


The brothers facing money laundering charges in US

Posted 08/07/2020

Ricardo Alberto “Rica” Martinelli Linares, eldest son of former Panama president  Ricardo Martinelli will appear before a Guatemala judge on Friday, July 10 for his extradition hearing to the United States.

The date for the extradition hearing of his  brother Luis Enrique “Quique”  Linares has not yet been set.

The brothers were arrested in Guatemala, on Monday, at the request of the United States, which requests their extradition to face money laundering charges linked to Odebrecht after an FBI investigation.

The United States has between 40 and 90 days to support the extradition request, meanwhile, the brothers remain in preventive fetention in the  Mariscal Zavala military prison.

Their lawyers claim that both are alternate deputies of the Central American Parliament ( Parlacen ), and therefore enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Parlacen has not formally ruled onn this , but its vice president Gilberto Sucari reported that Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique have not been sworn in.

The brothers were carrying passports from Parlacen when they were captured at La Aurora airport, where they intended to board their father’s private plane to Panama. They also carried regular  Panamanian passports, four cell phones, and large amounts of cash in dollars, euros, and other currencies.

The Panama Passport Authority (APAP) said on  Wednesday that the ordinary passports of both were renewed at the beginning of the year, at the Panama Consulate in Miami. "They do not have diplomatic passports issued by the Republic of Panama," says the APAP.



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Covid-19 extends Martinelli brothers jail stay


Posted 08/07/2020

The Guatemalan Judicial Dustem suspended activities on Wednesday afternoon due, to COVID-19. This means that the brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli will have to cool their heels in preventive detention until the courts resume operations.

The temporary stoppage according to the Presidency of the Guatemalan Judicial Organism will be until July 23. The defense lawyer for the Martinelli Linares brothers in Guatemala, Dennis Cuesy said that the suspension "definitely affects them".

The brothers, sons of former president Ricardo Martinelli are awaiting separate hearings for extradition to the United States to face money laundering charges.

Ricardo Alberto Martinelli had the extradition hearing scheduled for s Friday, July 10, but after the cancellation of judicial activities, the date for the judicial procedure is unknown.

No date had been set for his brother’s appearance.



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OFF THE CUFF - Martinell health problems resurface


Posted 09/07/2020

Former president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-14)whose sons are in  a Guatemala prison   awaiting an extradition hearing  following an FBI investigation  into their alleged  role in distributing at least $28 million of  Odebrecht bribery funds has once again played the  health card to stalli an inquiry into his  involvement in the scandal

His lawyer has informed the Special Anti - Corruption Prosecutor heading the Odebrecht case, that he has a new medical disability: from July 8 to July 10 issued by the same cardiologist who previously declared him incapacitated.

Martinelli originally had to appear for investigation on  Friday, July 3, but his lawyer Roniel Ortiz reported that he was disabled until July 7.That was the extension of an incapacity certificate that the cardiologist Gabriel Frago had given him, from July 1 to 3, for the New Business case , a process in which Martinelli resorted to article 25 of the Constitution not to declare.

While Marinelli was in the El Renacer prison awaiting trial for illegal wiretapping, he produced a number of certificates claiming various illnesses including, stress, depression and hypertension and heart problems and made frequent visits to hospitals, Earlier he had claimed to be suffering from cancer. On being declared not guilty in the wiretap case he became actively involved in campaigning  for posts during the last election,

The news  of his sons arrest accused of money laundering and funneling Odebrecht funds to a “high ranking” government official  during his  2009-2024 reign signs of hypertension, stress, and depression could be returning.



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Martinelli strikes back with sheriff;s raid


Posted 09/07/2020

Former president Ricardo Martinelli, facing his own legal challenges has been throwing out multi-million dollar lawsuits like a desperate survivor lobbing grenades from an encircled bunker, with judges, media outlets journalists and lawyers among his preferred targets.

The latest to come into his crosshairs is former Attorney General Kenia Porcell.

 On Thursday morning  July 9, Grennal Cruz , a sheriff of the Third Civil Court, accompanied by police officers and Martinelli lawyer Alberto Vallarino arrived at her home in the Mont Blanc sector of Brisas del Golf , to seize her assets They entered the home of the former AG , who was at the scene, with her husband and two children.

“The fact that they have come to my house, within a civil kidnapping, and that they have brought this many police officers and technically invaded my residence ... My son was in his classes. They wanted to go to the iPad where my son was studying. It is an abuse of power, ”said Porcell.

“I understand that there is a civil lawsuit. I do not know the facts, but what is certain is that if something happened while I was a prosecutor, the civil jurisdiction is not competent, "she added.

In  February, Judge Ana Zita Rowe authorized the seizure of property, for up to $120,000, although Porcell told reporters that they wanted to take property valued at about $140,000. The civil lawsuit that supports the seizure  - "whose amount exceeds $1 million," according to the documents - was filed on Wednesday, July 8, at 11:47 am, so the Thursday strike took place less than 24 hours later.

The diligence of  Thursday had the purpose of looking for those movable assets liable to be seized: furniture, ornaments, clothing, paintings ... All valuables could have been taken away.

In the case of the former attorney, most of those assets are pledged. Article 537 of the Judicial Code states: “ Pledged movable property may only be kidnapped or seized by the pledgee creditor.

Many cops 
Porcell "is impressed by how the State lent the entire police force to carry out a civil procedure," said lawyer David Díaz , who was deputy secretary-general of the Office of the Attorney General, when Porcell was in command (2015-2019).

“The civil norm gives the possibility that if the person resists, support is requested. But that has

It is not the only action taken by Martinelli against Porcell reports La Prensa.

In  January filed two criminal complaints against her, for the alleged commission of crimes against the public administration and for slander. Porcell, was head of the Public Ministry between 2014 and 2019, led several investigations of alleged corruption during Martinelli's administration.

Lawyer Vallarino, said Porcell has made several statements violating his client's presumption of innocence and nnounced that his client will file more criminal lawsuits against her.

Porcell resigned last December, after learning that the content of his private communications with former President Juan Carlos Varela , through the Varelaleaks . She was replaced by  Eduardo Ulloa in January.

Martinellihas threatened to seize the asets of La Prensa, while he is facing trial in the New Business case for allegedly using state funds to purchase the Epasa group, publishers of  Panama America.



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Passports issued to fugitive brothers


Posted 09/07/2020

The Panama government of Laurentino Cortizo, through its consulate in Miami, issued passports to the fugitive sons of former president Ricardo Martinelli  while warrants for their arrest to face trial in the Odebrecht and Blue Apple cases were still in force.

The Panama Passport Authority (APAP), issued the passports in January and February t to Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares respectively, despite the fact that At that time, an Interpol  Red Alert for their arrest was in place.

It was not until March that the Second Court of Justice granted bail of $2 million each for the Odebrecht case.

Luis Enrique Martinelli posted the bond on June 22, and a day later the Third Court of Criminal Cases, requested the Directorate of Judicial Investigation to rescind the arrest warrant for hia arrest ., Ricardo Alberto posted his bond on July 7 the day of his arrest in Guatemala.

La Prensa reports that it consulted Ricardo Gaitán , consul in Miami, on the subject. and the office responded that as a consulate, they receive "all Panamanians" who request any documentation or service.

The brothers are currently behinf bars in a Guatemala  prison awaiting extradition hearings.



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Martinelli eldest son in Guatemala extradition hearing


Posted 10/07/2020

A  criminal Court rejected a challenge presented by the defense of Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares, detained in Guatemala since Monday, to change judges, for  the hearing for his eventual extradition to the United States.

"We cannot leave a person detained for 15 days, without resolving their situation ... For now, it is important for the gentleman to know why his required in extradition, is required" said the president of the court, Saúl Álvarez, sitting with the two other two judges, on Friday, July 10.

Denis Cuesy , defense attorney, announced an appeal and that, against the court's decision, and said that the defense's "ability and honor." He had requested 15 days to prepare "an adequate technical defense" against the "arbitrary" arrest of his client, "Deputy Ricardo Martinelli".

Cuesy asked for the extradition process be suspended. He has a period of three days to present the appeal in writing, reports El Periódico de Guatemala.

The judges suspended the hearing  Friday, and will resume once the appeal is resolved.

The  defense lawyer claims  that the court did not allow his client to "show his status as a public official."

Cuesy alleged that Ricardo Alberto's right of defense is being violated because he is not allowed to show the "benefits" that the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) confers on him. He also said that the detention violates articles of the American Convention on Human Rights.

He showed a certification of the magistrates of the Panama Electoral Court, which indicates that Ricardo Alberto was chosen as deputy deputy of the Parlacen, in July 2019.

The prosecutor of the Specialized Unit for International Affairs opposed all the defense requests and asked the court to stick to those stipulated in the bilateral extradition treaty between Guatemala and the United States.

Martinelli Linares, in handcuffs was escorted, from the Mariscal Zavala military prison, where he has been held together with his brother Lius Enrique since Tuesday. 

Luis Enrique must also go to an extradition hearing, but before the Fifth Court, which has not yet set a date.

The sons of children of former President Ricardo Martinelli  (2009-2014) were captured at La Aurora International Airport , when they were preparing to board a private plane bound for Panama. Guatemala does not know when and how they entered the country, but authorities have said that there has been an FBI  guided  "follow-up and surveillance" operation since June 30.



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Defendants in New Businessscandal name ex-president


Posted 10/07/2020

Former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) has been mentioned by several defendants in the investigation of the New Business case, related to the alleged  money laundering in transactions for the purchase of Editora Panamá América, SA (Epasa), publisher of Panama America and La Critica.

The first prosecutor against Organized Crime, David Mendoza, said on Thursday. July 9 that they are analyzing ing  request the Electoral Court to lift the electoral criminal jurisdiction of the former president, who was a candidate for deputy for circuit 8-8 and for Panama  Mayor

The shield r given by the principle of specialty, under which Martinelli was extradited from the United States, and which indicates that he can only be tried in the case of eavesdropping, is also being evaluated.

One million dollars from the contract awarded in 2010 to Grupo Corcione y Asociados, SA -of Nicólas Corcione- for the construction of the new building of the National Assembly (AN) was diverted to the New Business company. revealed  Mendoza.

New Business served as a basket company to accumulate at least  $43 million that was used to buy Editora Panamá América (Epasa),

The contract to build the new Assembly was awarded to Constructora Corcione y Asociados, SA, in June 2010, when Panamanian deputy José Luis Popi Varela was president of the AN.

 Originally, the contract was $19.5 million, but  , during José Muñoz's presidency in the Legislature, the cost rose to $22.5 million.

In  October 2010, Constructora Corcione requested an advance of $2 million, as part of a clause agreed in the contract. Later, the company asked Capital Bank to write a management check - of $1 million - in the name of Grupo Clio, SA, a company that is linked to  Nicolás and  José Corcione. As a next step, the contractor transferred the money to the New Business basket company.

The prosecution brought money laundering charges against the Corcione brothers.

According to the investigations of the Public Ministry, New Business received funds that were destined to the expansion of the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway, awarded in the Martinelli government to the  Transcribe Trading (TCT) ,  owned by the brothers  David  and  Daniel Ochy.

The Ochy brothers managed to transfer $ 3 million to at least 10 companies controlled by businessmen and merchants in the country, through bank accounts that were used to acquire the shares of the Epasa company in 2010.

The prosecutor said that on January 29, the one-year period granted to  the prosecution to continue the investigations expired, and that a request to the Eighteenth Criminal Court to grant it one more year of extension to cntinue with the investigation, has been submitted.

He explained that he requested the additional extension because several implicated parties have mentioned the name of Ricardo  Martinelli in the investigation.



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Former president circles legal wagons as cases close in


Posted 11/07/2020

Former President Ricardo Martinelli will be back in court on Monday, July 13, in a hearing on the infringement of rights requested by his lawyers, in the case brought by the Public Ministry over to alleged irregularities in the management of funds of the State Savings Bank (CA) .

The case involves his alleged participation in the granting of a $9 million loan to the original contractor of the Amador Convention Center.

Roniel Ortiz, from Martinelli's team of lawyers, confirmed that the hearing will be held after the Public Ministry carried out proceedings within this process, "despite the fact that the former president is protected by the principle of specialty", contemplated in the extradition treaty agreed between the United States and Panama in 1904

Ortiz said that before doing any diligence, the Public Ministry had to go before a guarantees judge to determine whether or not his client is covered by the principle.

He said that in this case a warning was already presented to prosecutors about the existence of the specialty principle, but that it will now be up to the judge of guarantees to analyze the situation.

However, since January 17, a letter from the Foreign Ministry has been in the Public Ministry, stating the official position of the US State Department, which says that the principle of specialty is no longer applicable to Martinelli.

After renouncing his status as deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) , the Supreme Court lost the competence to prosecute the former president and sent several complaints to the Public Ministry that have been kept pending.

Pending cases
Among them are the investigation into the alleged irregular collection of taxes through the company Cobranzas del Istmo; a complaint filed by Aurelio Camano for the alleged irregular purchase of land in the province of Veraguas, and a complaint for granting pardons to people convicted of common crimes.

In addition, there is a case related to the contracts for the supply of dehydrated food, as well as a complaint filed by the Superintendency of the Stock Market for the alleged use of privileged information for the purchase of shares in Petaquilla Minerals , through the liquidated Financial Pacific brokerage.

He is also being investigated in the New Business and Odebrecht bribery cases


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”Sick” Ex-president mocks Panama prosecutors


Posted 12/07/2020

Former President Ricardo Martinell the  “rofioncito”, shouts to the four winds that he is the largest businessman in Panama and warns that whoever violates his rights and due process will get the “ñecks” (****) writes Mi Diario (Jul. 11)

His folk language sometimes borders on the vulgar, but it is part of his way of communicating with his political followers.

It is not for pleasure that they label him "Crazy " and he is pending to render accounts for several cases in Panama, now that it is known that he does not enjoy the specialty principle for illegal wiretapping

A week ago Martinelli had to go to the Anti-corruption Prosecutor to testify for the Odebrecht case who charged him, and ordered him to be under country arrest, but he immediately took refuge in medical disabilities and did not go to expand the investigation in the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office.

He also had to give a statement for the New Business case, related to the purchase of the newspapers Crítica, Panamá América and Día a Días, his official gazettes to defend him and attack his critics, but he did not attend either.

The funny thing is that Martinell has medical disabilities, but he remains active on social networks sending messages and even recording videos.

During his  wiretapping trial, he hinted that he suffered from cancer and was in the last stages, but once he was found not guilty, in the first instance he has taken a series of actions to intimidate his judges and opponents.

This Monday, July 13, Martinelli must participate in a hearing on the infringement of rights in the case related to the alleged mismanagement of funds at the Savings Bank. Martinelli insists that he is covered by the principle of specialty and that he cannot be investigated for cases other than those of telephone taps which are pending an appeal in the Supreme Court.

While Martinelli tries to cover himself with how much jurisdiction he has on hand, former President Juan Carlos Varela has already gone twice to the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office to testify for alleged donations from Odebrecht and has said that he will cooperate with justice.

While Martinelli continues to invoke medical problems, his lawyers were pleased with the seizure of assets against the former attorney general of the Nation, Kenia Porcell, his lawyer, Alfredo Vallarino, convicted in the past in the case of the "Rolex robberies ",  warns that 13 more kidnapping measures were coming.

But while Martinelli tries to mock justice in Panama, his children were captured in Guatemala and face an extradition process to the US for processes related to alleged Odebrecth- related money laundering events, which may spill over to other people.



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Odds stacked against Martinelli sons in US extradition move


Awaiting fate in a Guatemala prison

Posted 12/07/2020

The sons of Ricardo Martinelli the former Panamanian president (2009-2014) arrested at  the La Aurora international airport (Guatemala), when preparing to board a private plane bound for Panama on July 6  stand little chance of avoiding extradition to the US to face money laundering charges according to legal experts..

 Former Guatemala Chancellor GabrielOrellana, for said that, based on the constitutive treaty of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), the Martinelli Linares brothers may come to occupy the position, and consequently enjoy immunity, when the Central American deputy elected by Panama to whom they should replace is absent.

In other words, if the main deputy is in office, then they are not replacing any incumbent. "They cannot be considered titular deputies and, consequently, they cannot enjoy immunity," he said.

Also says  Orellana the US  is not part of the Parlacen constitutive treaty. Guatemala and Panama, by contrast, are.

Thus, says  the former foreign minister Guatemala could not impose on the US the existence of a treaty that does not bind it.

In Orellana's opinion, the problem for the defense of the Martinelli Linares brothers lies in the elements that they will use to oppose the extradition request. 

"They could attack procedural claims, or say, that the crime prescribed is non-existent ... but that is practically impossible," he said. "The statistical odds are against them," he added.

Meanwhile, for the professor of international law, Alonso Illueca, one of the essential problems that will arise in this process will lie in the fact of whether or not the Martinelli Linares brothers have alleged immunity as substitute deputies for Parlacen. This is the aspect that, according to Illueca, seems to be what the sons of the former Panamanian president evoke since they presented their diplomatic cards or identification when they were captured.

In this regard, he stated that it is necessary to adhere to what the host country agreement says that establishes immunity against any arrest or detention. However, in order for Parlacen deputies to be subjects of this immunity regime, they have to comply with certain procedures, such as their due swearing-in, which is stipulated in articles 17, 18, 19 and 20 of the internal regulations of the body and there is no record that they attended the swearing-in ceremony held in November 2019, nor that they have done so before the national bench of Panama (taking into account that they were absent from their country of origin.

In the television program, Illueca also emphasized that what the Martinelli Linares brothers are claiming is that they cannot be subject to the extradition process because they are, in theory, removed from Guatemalan jurisdiction.

"The Parlacen is the one who has to claim the immunity of the deputies. If the Parlacen considers that the deputies are immune, they have to request Guatemala to respect the headquarters agreement, "he said.

However, if Parlacen says they have not been sworn in and have no immunity then it would go straight to the bottom and would be an extradition process that would not involve Parlacen in any way. It would be between Guatemala and the United States, Illueca said.

According to the indictment filed by  FBI Special Agent Michael Lewandowski of FBI) with the Eastern District Court of New York, Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique reportedly participated as "intermediaries" in bribery payments of $28 million, " under the leadership of Odebrecht ”.

The monies would have benefited a Panamanian public servant, whose name is not listed at the moment in the US indictment, but who is described as "an officer with a very high position in the Panamanian government and a  “close relative” of the two accused between 2009 and 2014 – the period corresponding to the presidential mandate of  their father



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Former president feeling pressures of sons' arrest


Martinelli "Under Ptessure"

Posted 13/07/2020

The judge of guarantees Kenia Marín recused herself on Monday, July 13, from hearing a case that allegedly involved former President Ricardo Martinelli with irregularities in the granting of a loan from the  State Savings Bank (CA) to the original contractor of the convention center in Amador.

The judge considered that she had no jurisdiction in the process since previously the case was handled under the inquisitorial system and asked Martinelli's defense to present the case before other judges.

The Public Ministry (MP) was represented by the prosecutor Azucena Del Rosario Aizpurúa.

"We will make the corresponding evaluations every time that within the portfolio we do have a pronouncement from the plenary of the Supreme Court that sets the jurisdiction of the accusatory criminal system," said the prosecutor.

The Martinelli defense requested the hearing of "infringement of rights" in the case of the CA, claims that this and other cases that allegedly link to his client be closed.

"This means that all the investigations carried out by the MP in the case of Ricardo Martinelli and the CA have to be closed in the accusatory criminal system," said lawyer Carlos Carrillo, from the legal team that defends the former president.

Roniel Ortiz, Martinelli's lawyer, maintains that the former president is protected by the principle of specialty c in the1904 extradition treaty of Panama and the United States and, therefore, cannot be investigated for causes other than the wiretapping case for which he was extradited, in June. of 2018: in which he was declared “not guilty. ”, The sentence is under appeal

"The prosecution turned offices to the Migration Directorate, requesting information from Ricardo Martinelli, as an act of investigation and they know that they could not do it, because there had been warnings that they could not touch the specialty principle," said Ortiz.  On arriving at the court.

Martinelli was not present at the hearing. He delivered a certificate of incapacity for 60 days, so as not to be investigated in other cases in which he has been cited, such as the Odebrecht and New Business cases, both for the payment of bribes by state contractors. Lawyer Ortiz said that his client's medical conditions are the product of "all the pressure" to which he is subjected due to the issue of his children arrested in Guatemala and others.



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Martinelli dodges justice bullet with psychiatric certificate


Martinelli and Torres

Posted 13/07/2020

As the hounds of justice begin to encircle former president Ricardo Martinelli continues playing “disability” cards, the latest from political ally and psychiatric doctor Aligis Torres which would keep him away from anti-corruption prosecutors for at least another two months.

This is the third medical certificate presented by Martinelli who flaunts the tag “El Loco” (the crazy one) who has been summoned to respond in the investigations of the New Business and Odebrecht cases. reports La Prensa

According to the doctor Torres, the former President has a psychiatric condition that makes it impossible for him to do his usual tasks, although his diagnosis has not come out.

Martinelli presented last week the certificate of medical incapacity that would prevent him from being summoned or attending calls made by the Public Ministry. A control hearing requested by his lawyers was scheduled for Monday, July 13 in the case of the Savings Bank.

Martinelli had previously presented two medical certificates, from the cardiologist Gabriel Frago. The first was presented on July 2, when he was going to be questioned about the “New Business” case of the purchase of Editora Panamá América (Epasa), , and then when he had to answer for the Odebrecht case, on July 3. The disability certificate was later extended until last July 10.

The current 60- days certification of Martinelli's incapacity, whose diagnosis is unknown, was issued by politician and psychiatrist Algis Torres - from the Hospital Cristo Rey Clinic

In July 7, 2009, La Estrella de Panamá published a profile of Algis Torres, who was a candidate to be the director of the San Miguelito Health Medical Region. The newspaper described reported  Torres had worked in the La Modelo prison as  doctor of the Penitentiary Guard during the Noriega dictatorship.

According to the report, also issued health certificates in the days after the so-called "Black Friday" - July 10, 1987 - a  date remembered by tens of thousands of Panamanians who were harassed, beaten and/or detained, or who witnessed how anti-riot units of the Defense Forces perpetrating one of the worst acts of repression in the military dictatorship.

Many of the detainees were savagely repressed by riot police known as "Dobermans" of the Defense Forces. Inside the prison, some were physically and psychologically tortured, and others raped.

La Estrella wrote  that the medical reports bearing Torres' signature indicated that none of the detainees had “physical or mental trauma”., The majority of those arrested that day "had symptoms of diseases such as gastric ulcers, glaucoma, gonorrhea, conjunctivitis, high blood pressure, asthma, urinary tract infections, low back pain, and allergic reactions."

Despite his controversial profile, then president, Martinelli, had no qualms in naming Torres director of the Health Region of the San Miguelito district, and he remained in office until the end of Martinelli’s term (2014).

Torres was later an unsuccessful candidate for deputy for the Alianza party, founded by former deputy José Muñoz, from Cambio Democrático (CD), when Martinelli led the party.



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Red carpet treat for high flying fugitives


The Martinelli :inares brothers

Posted 13/07/2020

The legal situation in Panama of the Martinelli Linares brothers - children of former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) - was never an obstacle for the authorities of the Executive and Judicial organs to offer them help. Unexplained, for example, are the release bonds in favor of those who were fugitives from justice, even with Interpol red alerts. Then, they obtained passports without any official, local or abroad, being struck by the fact that they were granting them to characters that the local justice claimed. Then, they receive permission to enter the country from the Ministry of Health and the Civil Aeronautics Authority, while the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had safe passages ready to circulate as soon as they arrived. This, without counting the help - it is not known who - so that upon arrival they identified themselves as members of the Parlacen, which would have hindered the proceedings against them. And while this was happening, the country remained as an accomplice to the flight of some accused in the United States, our main trading partner. Today, justice will face a new challenge: a judge must decide whether to recognize the principle of specialty for the former president. Hopefully we will not end once again with the failure of a third world country.LA PRENSA, Jul 13



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Prosecutors ask  for Martinelli  psychiatric evaluation


Posted 14/07/2020

The Special Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office has asked the Institute of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf) for a  "psychiatric evaluation of a former president of the Republic" said a Public Ministry (MP) statement on Monday.

Martinelli flaunts the “El Loco”  appellation which he adopted during is election campaign when he was said to be bi-polar.

The MP  note reveals that the politician presented "three certifications of medical disabilities," the most recent for 60 days, issued by a psychiatrist.

A lawyer for ex-president Ricardo Martinelli said that his client was affected by stresses including the arrest of his sons in Guatemala. He is also facing multiple corruption investigations and his acquittal on wiretapping charges in which the prosecution called for a 2q-year jail term is being appealed.

The MP also requested the clinical file of the medical centers that issued the disability.

So far  in July, Martinelli who has a record of playing health cards [malingering?] when facing justice  has presented three certificates of incapacity, at a time when he has been called  to face  two investigations - Odebrecht and New Business - for alleged money laundering.



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Ex-president attends medical evaluation requested by prosecutor


Ricardo Martinelli

Posted 15/07/2020

Facing pushback from anti-corruption prosecutors after presenting three medical certificates to inhibit his appearance to face two money-laundering investigations, ex-president Ricardo Martinelli made a “voluntary” appearance at The Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf)  on Wednesday, July 15  for medical evaluation, requested by the Public Ministry.  The cases involved are - Odebrecht and New Business - for alleged money laundering, through the payment of bribes to state contractors.

Martinelli, who likes to flaunt the appelaltion "Loco" will be back at the medical center on July 21, for a  psychiatric evaluation.

Last week, Martinelli presented a 60-day medical disability, issued by the private psychiatrist Alvis Torres, a former political ally of the ex-president

Martinelli who is under cunty arrest and must report on the 15th of each month went to the Avesa building on Wednesday to make  his monthly notificationas part of the measure imposed by the prosecution in the New Business case.



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