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What's Next for Richardo Martinelli and His Family

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Unlimited time to continue Martinelli family laundering probe

Posted on June 25, 2016 in Panama

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Martinelli and sons probed in family laundering business
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THE SUPREME COURT has granted an open extension, without limitation to Panama’s  Seventh Anticorruption Prosecutor  to continue an investigation for money laundering related to the construction of two hydroelectric linked to former President Ricardo Martinelli and his two  sons.

The Public Ministry opened the criminal dossier in September 2015 due to the movement of money related to the construction of San Bartolo and Las Cruces the  hydroelectric projects , developed in the province of Veraguas.

The money used for hydroelectric projects came from a state contractor -Cobranzas del Istmo, S.A.- and capitalized to a consortium of electricity generation, which had as shareholders the former president Ricardo Martinelli and his sons Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares listed as owners

They  received a check for $900,000 from  Langton International Holding Limited, linked to the owner of Cobranzas del Istmo, Christopher Salerno, who is under house arrest related to the contract obtained for managing the collection of delinquent taxes   for the state in the last government.

Isthmus Power Corporation Ltd., whose manager is Alejandro Adames Garuz received another $200,000 from Salerno’s company and $200.000 from  Gabriel Gaby Btesh,  a member of Martinelli’s inner circle. The power company also obtained funds from an $80 million “syndicated loan” for projects, from four local banks.

Garuz is the son of Alejandro Garuz, currently in preventive detention related to wiretapping of Martinelli’s political opponents, journalists, businessmen and judges. He is also facing charges connected to the purchase of helicopters from Selex, a subsidiary of the Italian conglomerate Finnmeccanica.

The prosecution submitted a copy of the file to the Supreme Court at the end of December 2015 to open a process to consider the case of the ex  president Martinelli.

Martinelli, who has numerous outstanding criminal cases against him is in Miami, and describes the charges as political persecution.

His sons fled the country when the prosecutor opened the file, and Btesh has disappeared from Panama.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/unlimited-time-continue-martinelli-laundering-probe

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Supreme Court magistrate Harry Diaz, in his capacity as Prosecutor of the 'Wiretap' case, wants an Interpol RED Alert to be issued for former Presidemt Martinelli.

Prosecutor Harry Díaz has requested the preventive detention of former President Ricardo Martinelli as part of the investigation into the interception of communications by the National Security Council.

In a June 24 note to Judge Jerome Mejía, Diaz proposed that he proceed with a different mechanism than extradition, which is currently being pursued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said that a "red alert" should be issued to locate and detain the former president with help from Interpol.

Martinelli left Panama on Jan. 28, 2015 and has never appeared personally in the case, which is being handled by the Supreme Court. He is thought to be living in Miami.

On Dec. 21, the court ordered the detention Martinelli on Dec. 21.

http://www.prensa.com/in_english/Magistrado-Diaz-Interpol-Ricardo-Martinelli_21_4516258334.html

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Judge asks Interpol Red Alert for Martinelli

Posted on June 27, 2016 in Panama

diaz-620x264.jpgJudge Harry Diaz acting as prosecutor of Martnelli
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SUPREME COURT  Judge Harry Diaz has called for an Interpol Red Alert for absconding  ex-president Ricardo Martinelli.

 

On Friday June 24  as prosecutor,  he sent a note to the Judge of Guarantees Jerome Mejia-that he  intends to proceed with other extradition mechanisms for  Martinelli  in addition to those  currently before the Foreign Ministry and request a “red alert” to locate and arrest the president, with the help of Interpol.

 

Martinelli left Panama on January 28, 2015 and has never personally appeared at hearings conducted by the Supreme Court for several complaints against him. His lawyers have said that he is domiciled in a luxury beachfront condo on Brickell Avenue, Miami, United States.

 

The plenum of the Supreme Court ordered the preventive detention of Martinelli on December 21, after Mejia declared him “in absentia” for failing to appear at a hearing.

 

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Marinelli at Soldier Field Chicago

On October 9, 2015, Diaz filed a notice of indictment against the Martinelli for the alleged commission of the crimes of inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy and against public administration (embezzlement).

 

At a Copa America match  in Chicago, Martinelli told reporters that the extradition request was “pure bullshit”.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/judge-asks-interpol-red-alert-martinelli

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23 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Supreme Court magistrate Harry Diaz, in his capacity as Prosecutor of the 'Wiretap' case, wants an Interpol RED Alert to be issued for former Presidemt Martinelli.

Prosecutor Harry Díaz has requested the preventive detention of former President Ricardo Martinelli as part of the investigation into the interception of communications by the National Security Council.

In a June 24 note to Judge Jerome Mejía, Diaz proposed that he proceed with a different mechanism than extradition, which is currently being pursued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said that a "red alert" should be issued to locate and detain the former president with help from Interpol.

Martinelli left Panama on Jan. 28, 2015 and has never appeared personally in the case, which is being handled by the Supreme Court. He is thought to be living in Miami.

On Dec. 21, the court ordered the detention Martinelli on Dec. 21.

http://www.prensa.com/in_english/Magistrado-Diaz-Interpol-Ricardo-Martinelli_21_4516258334.html

 

Mejía sends red alert for Martinelli to Interpol

Judge Jerome Mejía, who is handling the case involving former President Ricardo Martinelli, sent a red alert to Interpol for the arrest of the former president.

This was confirmed by National Police Director Omar Pinzón and Harry Díaz, who is prosecuting the case.

Diaz sent a request for the red alert to Mejía Friday.

Diaz based the request on the order issued by the plenum of the Supreme Court on Dec. 21. The former president faces charges related to illegal surveillance carried out by the National Security Agency.

According to Diaz, the red alert is complementary to the request for extradition Mejia presented to the Foreign Ministry May 26.

http://m.prensa.com/in_english/Mejia-Interpol-solicitud-arrestar-Martinelli_21_4517008258.html

Edited by Keith Woolford

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4 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

...charges related to illegal surveillance carried out by the National Security Agency.

Keith,

Could you please clarify which "National Security Agency" that you refer to?

I hope you do not mean the US NSA.

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27 minutes ago, Bud said:

Keith,

Could you please clarify which "National Security Agency" that you refer to?

I hope you do not mean the US NSA.

No, that's the term in English that LaPrensa assigned to Panama's national security council.

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Police surrounded the corporate offices of Super 99 in the Rio Abajo district of Panama City this morning.

monte_oscuro2_0.jpg

Inspection ordered of Importadora Ricamar offices

Prosecutor Abel Zamorano has ordered the inspection of the offices of Importadora Ricamar, property of the family of the former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), as part of the research into the Cobranzas del Istmo case.

Today, police officers stood on guard outside the offices, located in Monte Oscuro. The firm is the parent company of the Super 99 supermarket chain. 

The inspection was confirmed by former First Lady Marta Martinelli, who was also a candidate for vice president in 2014.

"If they are conducting an inspection, why are they preventing employees from entering the building? It's as if they are looking for a drug trafficker," she said.

In May 2015, prosecutors filed charges against Cobranzas del Istmo officials for irregularities related to a contract it received from the state to collect delinquent taxes.

Martinelli is linked to the case because the majority shareholder of Crobranzas del Istmo, Cristóbal Salerno, said he delivered bags of cash to the Ricamar offices in exchange for the contract.

The case against Martinelli was admitted by the plenum of the Supreme Court in September 2015. In February, the court rejected a petition by defense lawyers to dismiss the charges.

Meanwhile former President Martinelli continues to burn up Twitter with accounts of his 'persecution'.

 

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Bags of CASH?  Honest transactions do not usually require cash bribes.  Why isn't the populace boycotting Super 99?  Not being here during that time I am not familiar with the whole story.

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Police raid Super 99 HQ

Posted on July 5, 2016 in Panama

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Police on guard at Martinelli offices .
Post Views: 442

POLICE  swooped on the officesof  Importadora Ricamar, the hub of the 99  retail empire of the family of former Panama President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), on Tuesday July 5.

Anti-corruption   Prosecutor Abel Zamorano ordered the inspection of the offices as part of the research into the Cobranzas del Istmo case.

Police officers stood on guard outside the offices, located in Monte Oscuro. The firm is the parent company of the Super 99 supermarket chain.

Marta-Linares-Martinelli-presencia-diligencia_LPRIMA20160705_0097_13

Marta Martinelli

The inspection was confirmed by former First Lady Marta Martinelli, who was parachuted in by her husband as a vice presidential candidate  in 2014.

“If they are conducting an inspection, why are they preventing employees from entering the building? It’s as if they are looking for a drug trafficker,” she said.

In a statement issued through the Twitter account @ super99_panama, the company urged the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agricultures “and other business and trade organizations to speak out about the respect of the exercise of free enterprise.”

Sidney Sitton, a Martinelli lawyer  said on his arrival in Monte Oscuro that Cobranzas accounts in Multibank Isthmus fed “many of the politicians who are in power today.”

In May 2015, prosecutors filed charges against Cobranzas del Istmo officials for irregularities related to a contract it received from the state to collect delinquent taxes.

Martinelli is linked to the case because the majority shareholder of Cobranzas del Istmo, Cristóbal Salerno, said he delivered bags of cash to the Ricamar offices in exchange for the contract.

The case against Martinelli was admitted by the plenum of the Supreme Court in September 2015. In February, the court rejected a petition by defense lawyers to dismiss the charges.

A Red Interpol Alert  has been issued for the arrest of the ex-president to face trial over the wiretapping  of political opponents, journalists, judges and  businessmen. He is also facing numerous other investigations.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/police-raid-super-99-hq

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Attorney General asks Interpol to speed up 34 red alerts

Posted on July 6, 2016 in Latin America, Panama

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PANAMA’S ATTORNEY General took the opportunity at  the twenty-third Regional Conference of the Americas of Interpol to ask the delegates to fast track 34 red alerts for Panamanians on the run.

The list includes high rolling businessmen, and government insiders wanted for corruption and  linked to  the previous  administration.

An alert has also been issued for Martinelli himself and his former private  “Chichi” de Obarrio.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/attorney-general-asks-interpol-speed-34-red-alerts

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Martinelli Lawyers try to block extradition

Posted on July 7, 2016 in Panama

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Rogelio Cruz and Sidney Sitton
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THE EXPECTED moves by the lawyers of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli to attempt to block his extradition to face criminal charges,  came on Thursday July 7 citing unconstitutionality

“Consequently, we ask that this warning of unconstitutionality be referred, without further ado, within two days, the plenary of the Supreme Court, for the purposes of the provisions of article 2557 of the Judicial Code, in view of that it is feasible because the legal standard warned as unconstitutional has not been the subject of a ruling by the Plenum of the Supreme Court in that regard, “Rogelio Cruz asked.

The defense claims that the former President and current deputy of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) has not been convicted or charged with any crime.

On May 27 last, Judge Jerome Mejia in his functions as judge of guarantees presented to the Foreign Ministry a request to extradite and arrest Martinelli, who left the country on January 28, 2015 and is located in Miami, United States.

Martinelli is accused of the unauthorized interception of communications, through the National Security Council during his tenure (2009-2014).

The defense claims that the extradition request is null, since his client has not been charged, which is a violation of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the American Convention on Human Rights.

However, on   October9 the prosecutor Judge Harry Diaz filed an indictment in pointing to Martinelli for the alleged commission of crimes of inviolability of secrecy and privacy, and embezzlement.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-lawyers-try-block-extadition

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Former Controller General Gioconda Torres de Bianchini passed away today in hospital.

In her position, she was the person responsible for oversight of fiscal (mis)conduct during the Martinelli administration and she had been notified to appear in several cases.

 It will be interesting to see how her passing will affect criminal procedures against others.

http://www.prensa.com/locales/Muere-excontralora-Gioconda-Torres-Bianchini_0_4525047544.html

Edited by Keith Woolford

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How do you like the expression on Martinelli's face? I don't know what word I would use to describe it -- possibly exasperation???

 

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Martinelli appeals “flatly rejected”

Posted on July 11, 2016 in Panama

DEFENSA-expresidente-Martinelli-Jeronimo
Martinelli facing at least 7 criminal cases. still walks free
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AS FORMER PRESIDENT Ricardo Martinelli  and his  battery of lawyers twist and turn  to find ways to block the runaway from appearing before Panama judges,  the Foreign Ministry has flatly rejected as “unfounded”  two appeals filed by the defense .

His lawyers  sought to halt the extradition of the former leader, who is being investigated by  the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) for the alleged commission of the crime against inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy for allegedly spying on at least 150 people.

Official sources told La Prensa that the rejection is of   the opposition to the extradition request, and a warning of unconstitutionality  in the process, that reached the office of Chancellor  de Alvarado rom Rogelio Cruz, one of the Martinelli lawyers.

On May 27 last, Judge Jerome Mejia-in functions of judge of guarantees presented to the Foreign Ministry a request to extradite and arrest Martinelli, who left the country on January 28, 2015 and is located in Miami, United States.

Martinelli is required within the process followed by the unauthorized interception of communications, through the National Security Council during his tenure (2009-2014).

The defense claims that the extradition request is null, since his client has not been charged, which is a violation of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the American Convention on Human Rights.

However, in   October 2015v, the prosecutor Judge Harry Diaz filed an indictment pointing to Martinelli for the alleged commission of crimes of inviolability of secrecy and privacy, embezzlement and embezzlement of use.

Martinelli is also facing prosecution in multiple other cases involving alleged corruption for sums running into scores of millions of dollars. His two sons who are also accused of corruption have fled the country, and their whereabouts are unknown. Numerous members of the former president’s inner circle have also fled Panama. At least one of them on Martinelli’s private jet.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-appeals-flatly-rejected

Edited by Bud
spelling correction

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Criminal hearing requested for 39 in food scandal

Posted on July 18, 2016 in Panama

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Rafael Guardia Jaen
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THE CRIMINAL case against a high  profile group of former officials and insider  businessmen during the Ricardo Martinelli administration (2009 -2014) may soon be heading to court after an anti- corruption  prosecutor requested a hearingfor 39 people.

The group consists of , including 23 former officials and 16 entrepreneurs ,accused of  for corruption related to the purchase of food through the National Assistance Program (PAN).

The alleged offenses took place between 2012 and 2014.

Prosecutor Ruth Morcillo has also asked for a provisional dismissal of charges against 23 others who were investigated in this process.

Among the defendants are former PAN Director Rafael Guardia Jaén and Adolfo De Obarrio, the former  private secretary of  ex-president Ricardo Martinelli-

De Obarrio who has been described as the “messenger boy” between Martinelli and successive heads pf PAN remains a fugitive from justice.

He gained additional  notoriety for his $700,000 wedding when he was earning $5,000 a month before deductions. Martinelli and his wife Marta then , the First Lady were among the guests at the extravaganza. De Obarrio  fled Panama with his wife on Christmas Day last year.

Among the business owners who were investigated are Roberto Carretero, Juan Carlos Marciaga and Carlos Araúz, who collectively received $16 million in contracts for food bags. Prosecutors say these contracts were greatly inflated with prices up to10 times the market rate  which caused economic injury to the state.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/criminal-hearing-requested-39-food-scandal

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Jailed Odebrecht boss blows whistle on Martinelli bribe deal

Posted on July 24, 2016 in Panama

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Martinelli and Odebrecht
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Marcelo Odebrecht, the former president of  Brazilian company Norberto Odebrecht who is serving a 19-year sentence for corruption, has blown the whistle on his bribery deals  with former Panama President Ricardo Martinelli.

The information was reported Sunday, July 24, by the Brazilian newspaper O´Globo. Odebrecht is cooperating with prosecutors investigating  the company’s bribery deals around the word. Martinelli is not the only president tto have been named.  

According to the report, Odebrecht offered the information to prosecutors in an attempt to reduce his sentence.

The former company president said that bribes was negotiated directly with Martinelli in exchange for contracts, including the construction of the Metro and electrical project.s. He  has promised more details of his direct deals with Martinelli during his next interrogation.

Odebrecht has received contracts in Panama worth more than $9 billion. It was recently awarded the contract to build the second line of the Metro for $1.8 billion and a $90 million contract from The Panama City mayor’s office for a street reconstruction project.

Thee have been numerous objections to the continued awarding of contracts to the Brazilian company since its whistle-blowing president was jailed.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/jailed-odebrecht-boss-blows-whistle-martinelli-bribe-deal

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Cabinet approved contract unaware of Martinelli linked shell co.

Posted on July 27, 2016 in Panama

varela.jpg
PRESIDENT Varela, Panama's ambassador in Italy, Fernando Berguido, and Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, with Italian businessmen. (Photo courtesy of the Presidency).
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CONTRACTS signed with Italian defense contractor Finmeccanica in 2010 were presented to cabinet  with  no reference  to commissions for a shell company linked to then president Ricardo Martinelli.

The information was provided by President Juan Carlos Varela in Milan Italy, in talks with La Prensa after meeting with entrepreneurs and Italian politicians in order to boost investments in Italy.

“The contracts were presented and supported by Minister of Security [José Raúl Mulino]. President Martinelli then asked for their approval. No one knew that it had included a commission for Agafia,” said Varela, referring to the shell company that received a commission as part of the $250 million contract.

Varela, who was chancellor at the time, said he was limited to playing a role in the protocol of the signing of the contract.

Agafia was created by Valter Lavítola, the Italian businessman who has been the subject of several corruption cases in the Courts of Rome and Naples and is currently in jail awaiting anotheer trial.

“When the existence of the commission emerged, I asked publicly for the annulment of the contract,” said the president.

Panama and Italy finished an agreement this week that granted Panama compensation for economic damage it suffered due to irregularities in the contract.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/cabinet-approved-contract-unaware-martinelli-linked-commission

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Martinelli extradition process to continue

Posted on August 4, 2016 in Panama

rogelio-cruz-e1470352875358.jpg
Martinelli lawyer Rogelio Cruz, ponders thenews
Post Views: 164

LAWYERS struggling to keep former president Ricardo Martinelli from facing justice in Panama got  another thumbs down on Thursday August 4.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said  that it has turned down a petition submitted  by his legal team  to reconsider an earlier decision to move ahead with the extradition process  for the absconding  former leader.

The ministry rejected the initial arguments of the defense as “inadmissible.” That decision was issued July 11.

The ministry also rejected a petition of unconstitutionality in the legal process.

It issued the ruling based on the fact that the decision by the Supreme Court to ask for the extradition of Martinelli was “final, unappealable and binding.”

Martinelli has been living in exile in Miami in  the United States since January 2015, but still  endeavors to pull the strings for his disaffected CD party, which is now split into two groups in the National Assembly.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-extradition-process-continue

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Case against Martinelli thrown out

Posted on August 10, 2016 in Panama

Ricardo-Martinelli_LPRIMA20160809_0137_2
Martinelli off the hook in abuse of power case
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PANAMA’S   Supreme Court has thrown out a complaint against ex-president Ricardo Martinelli for abuse of authority and other charges related to a visit in 2012 to Bahia Honda in Veraguas in which he allegedly threatened inhabitants to give up land to a businessman.

The decision, written by Judge Abel Zamorano, said there was no evidence of a crime or the violation of the human rights of the complainants.

It said that evidence presented in January 2015 by lawyer Donaldo Sousa, representing Aurelio Camaño Hernandez, failed to prove the case.

Hernandez had claimed that in April 2012,  Martinelli, accompanied by police and other security officials, came to the area to intimidate residents into abandoning 70 hectares for Jean Pigozzi.

The complaint also included the security officials who were with Martinelli. That part of the complaint is still being investigated reports La Prensa.

Hernandez said he was threatened by those security officers.

Residents says that Pigozzi, who received a special concession of 141.5 hectares in the area, has tried to obtain other property around it

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/%EF%BB%BFcase-martinelli-thrown

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New company snagged $31 million state contracts

Posted on August 21, 2016 in Panama

pele.png
Cost millions, rued illegal
Post Views: 186

A COMPANY   created a month after  Ricardo Martinelli became president,   got over $31 million in contracts from seven state agencies. It’s ultimate owner   is shrouded  in mystery.

All the contracts to Pele System Inc a company registered in August 2009, one month after Martinelli took office, were fast tracked according to a   La Prensa investigation and the key administration players in the agencies  at the time, have gone to ground and do not answer calls.

The most visible of the deals was the  Pele Police, used  for quick identification of citizens, by  various entities of public safety like the Transit Authority (ATTT) and the National Police. They  were later ruled illegal.

The National Police (PN)  had  at least a dozen charges for Pele System Inc., amounting to  $2,453368.76 for ”Pele Police” services and more followed. All the contracts were approved in days by the Comptroller.

The former directors of the PN and ATTT could not be reached for comment.

The biggest payments made in favor of Pele System Inc ., were for  the contract with the Maritime Authority (AMP)  for  the Pele Marine, system verification and inspection of vessels with the Panamanian flag.
Between 2012 and 2014 an  estimated $25,265 938  went to Pele System Inc. from the AMP via  the Comptroller.
Roberto Linares, who was administrator of the AMP  at the time, said he did not know anything about Pele  System Inc., despite the millions paid.
Former Minister of the Presidency Demetrio Papadimitriu, who served as chairman of the board of AMP when it signed the contract did not return calls and messages made to his cell phone.
FAST PAYMENTS
Most of the payments  for Pele System Inc. from the AMP through the comptroller took between three and five days at a time when there were  constant complaints from suppliers because of delays in the approval of checks for payment of services.
The National Border Service (SENAFRONT) between 2012 and 2013 made 21 payments to  Pele for  $ 941,831
Commissioner Frank Abrego who  commanded the SENAFRONT during that period.  did not respond to calls from La Prensa.
The  Ministry of Public Security in 2013 paid $823,249 for a maintenance contract.

The then Public Security Minister, Jose Raul Mulino, who was one of the main proponents of Pele Police, could not be located, but his administration defended the device as a measure against crime.

In October 2011, the Seventh Criminal Court outlawed the “Pele  Police” in the absence of legislation covering their use

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/new-company-snagged-31-million-state-contracts

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Martinelli extradition inches forward

Posted on August 21, 2016 in Panama

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PANAMA’S Foreign Ministry has asked a Supreme Court   judge for a summary of the facts of the investigation of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli for alleged wiretapping.The judicial “affidavit” will be  included in the extradition request be sent to the United States.

The request was sent to investigating judge Geronimo Mejia   in the trial of Martinelli on August 4.

The Foreign Ministry, in its note on Mejia said that the request was based on his experience in the processing of extradition requests to the Government of the United States, it has observed that it is common practice in the US to  request  the attachment of a document with a narrative of the facts of the case in simple language

It  adds that the document should contain a history of research that clearly establishes criminal behavior, avoiding the use of technical words that are difficult to translate and appending  the documents the prosecutor in the case deems appropriate or necessary.

The note ,to  which media  had access, states that the request  is to avoid any questions  from the US and that the Supreme Court has authorized the Foreign Ministry to carry out the extradition of Martinelli.
Mejia sent to the  Martinelli extradition request to  Foreign Ministry and since then has been resolved a number of appeals filed by the defense of the former president including a warning of unconstitutionality and opposition to the extradition request for alleged irregularities committed by the prosecutor Judge Harry Diaz in the proceeding.

The argument used by the Foreign Ministry to reject defense requests was that in this instance no process is involved  as the entity only received an instruction from the Supreme Court, asking it  to send a communication to another government, in this case the United States.

Martinelli is facing trial for alleged wiretapping and illegal surveillance of  at least 150 people, including  political, trade union, labor leaders and journalists.

According to the investigation by Judge Harry Diaz in his role as prosecutor, Martinelli made use of the National Security Council to order surveillance, wiretaps and access emails  of opponents.

If convicted he could be sentenced to up to 29 years in jail.

He is also facing trial in numerous corruption cases, and is living in upscale Bricknell Avenue in Miami.

He has labeled the extradition move “bullshit”

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-extradition-inches-forward

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Martinelli extradition hits fresh roadblock

Posted on August 24, 2016 in Panama

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Martinelli off the hook in abuse of power case
Post Views: 130

THE EXTRADITION request  for ex-president Ricardo Martinellie that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning to file with US authorities will be delayed for at least 15 more days.

The latest hitch  is because Supreme Court  Judge  Harry Diaz,  prosecutor of the case, is on vacation until Sept. 6. He must file a statement in the case before the request, which has been pending for months, can be submitted.

A La Prensa cartoonist's take on Judge Harry Diaz

A La Prensa cartoonist’s take on Judge Harry Diaz

Asked about the delay, Diaz said that he had been informed about the need for a statement by the ministry on Aug. 4, but did not file it before leaving for vacation.

Díaz said he was not formally apprised of the situation, but learned about the requirement “unofficially.”

Some of the victims in the case, which includes journalists, union leaders and political opponents of the former president, have demanded that the court speed up the extradition process.

Martinelli fled the country in January 2015, the day he was indicted by the Supreme Court, and is living in Miami.

Mitchell Doens, one of the victims and a leader of the PRD party, said that the process is frustrating.

“We have been waiting for months,” he said.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-extradition-hits-fresh-roadblock

Edited by Bud

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Martinelli fingered in Argentina bribery scandal

Posted on August 25, 2016 in Latin America, Panama

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Federico Suarez and Ricardo Martinelli
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EX-PRESIDENT Ricardo Martinelli has been named in yet another coima (bribery) scandal, this time in Argentina , linked to the abortive helicopter purchase from Italian conglomerate  Finmeccanica.

Argentina’s  federal prosecuto Franco Picardi has  accused two representatives of Telespazio Argentina, S.A. for the alleged payment of bribes to Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) for the installation, maintenance and financing of a digital cartographic map.

An  Argentina Public Prosecutions (MPF) public bulletin  says  that the elements gathered by prosecutor Picardi presume  “the existence of crimes that could be part of the crime of transnational bribery”.

The alleged payment occurred in 2010. That year, the Panamanian government signed contracts with three subsidiaries of Finmeccanica, one of which was for the purchase of a digital map to Telespazio Argentina reports La Prensa

According to the  bulletin,  prosecutor Picardi said that “it has been reported that the president of Panama Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal would receive economic benefits from the award of these contracts. Indeed, the signatories have given him money disguised as ‘commissions’, equivalent to 10% of the amount of the contract sums. ”

Such a “maneuver” would have involved the former Minister of Public Works Federico ‘Pepe’ Suarez.

The president of Telespazio Argentina, Edgardo Nicholas De Gracia, and the management of the firm Dario César Ventimiglia were charged by the Argentina  prosecutor  for the alleged payment of bribes to Ricardo Martinelli government officials for the contract to finance the digital cartographic map installation.

The contract, signed by Panama in 2010, provided for a payment of about 15.7 million euros.

According to research Picardi, Telespazio Argentina and De Graciaa were the subject of suspicious transaction reports totaling nearly $ 210,000.

De Gracia must explain the many trips he made to Panama between 2010 and 2015, “in addition to atypical costs of representation hotels, food, etc., through corporate credit cards”.

According to the prosecutor, the then  president Martinelli would receive economic benefits from the award of these contracts and the “maneuver” also allegedly involved – De Gracia and former Minister of Public Works, Federico Suarez and Italian Valter Lavítola and Paolo Pozzessere, the de former director of Finmeccanica on trial in Italy.

Consulted on the information, former minister Suarez  said that negotiations on the map was made by the former director of the Geographic Institute Tommy Guardia Israel Sánchez.

 La Prensa tried to locate Sanchez, but it was not possible. The paper also called Martinelli, in Miami  who , said “Ciao” and hung up.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-fingered-argentina-bribery-scandal

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Court OK’s aid to Swiss in Martinelli investigation

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Panama

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Martinelli and sons under Swiss microscope
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ARGENTINA, BRAZIL and Switzerland  are all knocking on Panama’s door asking for assistance in corruption inquiries with links to ex president  Ricardo Martinelli.

Now the  Supreme Court has admitted one of the two judicial assistance requests filed by federal prosecutors from Switzerland for information about Martinelli’s possible link to the alleged payment of bribes by Norberto Odebrecht, S.A., known in Brazil as the Lava Jato case.

The second request was not admitted due to errors it contained. It has been sent back to Switzerland so that theerrors can be corrected.

The request was referred to the court by Attorney General Kenia Porcell in May. That was because cases involving Martinelli have to be handled by that entity due to his membership in the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).

Judge Ángela Russo was appointed to handle the case and must now send the requested information to the judicial authorities of Switzerland.

The attorney general’s office will also send tinformation that was requested on Martinelli’s sons, Ricardo Martinelli Linares and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, who were also part of the judicial request. Both sons and their father have fled the country,

Switzerland requested information about accounts linked to the companies Constructora Internacional del Sur, S.A., Select Engineering and Active Capital Holdings.

Swiss authorities say that these companies were controlled by former Odebrecht Director Fernando Migliaccio da Silva, who has been detained in Switzerland since February.

Those companies were allegedly used to pay the bribes, including ones to Martinelli and his family.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/court-oks-help-swiss-martinelli-investigation

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Argetina asks help in Martinelli bribery probe

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Panama

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Martinelli off the hook in abuse of power case
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AN ARGENTINA federal prosecutor in Argentina, has filed a request for judicial assistance with the Public Ministry as part of the investigation into alleged bribes paid by Telespazio Argentina, S.A. to Panam officials in Panama, including ex-President Ricardo Martinelli

Telespazio and the Ministry of Public Works signed a contract in 2010 for 15.7 million euros for the installation, maintenance and financing of a digital mapping system.

In his request, prosecutor Franco Picardi, asked Panama to provide a certified copy of the agreement, the names of people who worked in the ministry from 2010 to 2014 and whether any of them traveled to Argentina in that period.

He also asked Panama to confirm whether or not Telespazio officials Edgardo Nicolas De Gracia or Dario César Ventimiglia traveled to Panama during that period, as well as seven other company officials. Nicolas De Gracia and Ventimiglia have already been charged with paying bribes in exchange for the contract.

The Telespazio deal was part of a larger, $250 million defense contract that Panama signed with the Italian consortium Finmeccanica. In addition to the mapping system, the deal also included the purchase of helicopters and a radar system.

That deal has resulted in allegations that Panama officials were paid a $25 million bribe, and it has prompted criminal investigations in Italy and Panama, as well as the one in Argentina.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/argetina-asks-help-martinelli-bribery-probe

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Martinelli paid top dollar in bribe deal

Posted on August 27, 2016 in Panama

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Kenia Porcell seeks artinelli contracts
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AS IN MANY contracts during the Martinelli administration, Panama got the short end of the stick with grossly inflated prices in a contract with an Argentine company.
The country paid as much as seven time the going price paid by other countries for digital mapping equipment.
The company Telespazio Argentina, is being investigated in that country for the alleged payment of bribes to Panamanian officials including former President Ricardo Martinelli.
According to research carried out in Argentina by Federal Prosecutor Franco Picardi, Telespazio delivered similar equipment to Costa Rica for $4.7 million and Paraguay for $3 million that it sold to Panama for $22 million.
The equipment is a digital mapping system that was part of a larger, $250 million deal that Panama signed with Finmeccanica, the parent company of Telespazio.
Bribery charges
Two Telespazio directors, Edgardo Nicolas De Gracia and Dario César Ventimiglia, have already been charged with paying bribes. They have been accused of funneling payments to the shell company Agafea Corp., which was created a short time before the contract was finalized.
According to the Argentine prosecutor, the payments were made through intermediaries.
Panama, Attorney General Kenia Porcell has been sent an Argentina request for judicial assistance.,
Her office is already compiling information about the contract.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-paid-top-dollar-bribe-deal

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