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What's Next for Richardo Martinelli, His Family and Associates Regarding Wire Tapping and Other Charges

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Martinelli  returned to jail after health “crisis”

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Back behind bars
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WITHIN 24 hours of a Tweet from  Ricardo  Martinelli spin doctor Eduardo  Camacho that his client was suffering a  health “crisis” necessitating transfer to the emergency room of Hospital Santo Tomas (HST) the ex-president was back in the El Renacer prison where he is awaiting trial for illegal wiretapping and embezzlement.

Ángel Cedeño.The medical director of (HST), reported that discharge proceedings began at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and he was on his way back to jail by 9:00 am.

Camacho, part of the Martinelli defense team attempting to save Martinelli from facing a  potential  21-year jail term  if convicted, has frequently played the  “hypertension” (blood pressure) card since Martinelli  arrived in El Renacer on June 11, after being extradited from the US where he spent a year  behind bars without reported  health problems.

Meanwhile, Martinelli supporters are on the streets seeking signatures for his bid to run for Mayor of Panama City, where he would be closer to the hospital.
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-returned-to-jail-after-health-crisis

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More habeas corpus pleas for Martinelli

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Lawyers wanting a say in the Ricardo Martinelli wire-tapping case keep appearing like moths around a  fading candle flame for a few minutes of fame.

Yet another habeas corpus in favor of the jailed ex-president has been presented to Panama’s Supreme Court. this time not from his team of high-end lawyers whose best shots have failed to move the plenary but from two – so far unknowns Jorge Alberto Ceballos Rodríguez and Catalino Rosas who presented their plea in a personal capacity, hoping perhaps for a lucky roll of the die.

Their bid is added to another habeas corpus filed by an Italian, citizen in favor of the former president. and will further overload a court already struggling with cases stretching back months, or even years

Martinelli is currently detained in El Renacer prison, within the process followed by the alleged commission of crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and embezzlement.

It is unknown if any of these people are linked to Martinelli’s legal team. On June 21, the plenary of the Court

rejected two habeas corpus for  Martinelli: one presented by the lawyer Roberto Rudas Herazo and another by the jurist Jaime Marchosky.

The provisional detention of Martinelli was ordered on December 21, 2015, by the plenary of the Supreme Court which on June 19  this year ratified the precautionary measure.

Martinelli was extradited from the United States on June 11, after a year behind bars and several failed attempts to avoid returning to face justice since then he has been in El Renacer.

On November 19 a hearing will be resumed in which the judge of guarantees Jerónimo Mejía will decide if the ex-ruler will be prosecuted for allegedly ordering the spying on the communications of at least 150 people, using personnel and equipment of the National Security Council. Fiscal magistrate Harry Diaz is asking for a 21-year prison sentence.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/more-habeas-corpus-pleas-for-martinelli

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Martinelli seeking plea deal in wiretap trial

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Martinelli falsely claimed terminal cancer
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While his spokesmen continue to chant their “political persecution” mantra  and he endeavors to play the  frequently  discredited “poor health” card [which once included a  terminal cancer claim] ex-president Ricardo Martinelli has held two meetings to   in El Renacer  prison in the  last 15 days to explore an  agreement in the  wiretapping case   in which the prosecutor  is calling for  a 21 year jail term report La Prensa and TVN.

the PRD leader Mitchell Doens – representing a group of plaintiffs- confirmed that the meetings were held after Martinelli  sent them a note and asked for an “approach.”

Carlos Herrera Morán, lawyer of Doctor Mauro Zúñiga – a victim of the taps- said he would  not to be in favor of an eventual agreement with the ex-president Herrera Morán said that  Martinelli  had previously proposed to meet with the complainants and claimed to have serious health problems. According to Herrera Morán, it was a strategy to delay the process.

Unnecessary

He said  that an agreement would be unnecessary at this stage since the parties presented all their evidence and the judge of guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, convened a hearing for the 19th of this month, in which he will announce which he will admit if the former president is finally sent to trial

Rosendo Rivera also said he was skeptical about reaching an agreement with Martinelli but acknowledged that on this occasion there is already a confidentiality agreement between the parties, not  to reveal anything about the content of the proposals for a possible agreement. He said that was a condition that Martinelli put.

The meetings of the complainants and Martinelli are not new says La Prensa. The first dates from October and November 2017, when his lawyers proposed a possible agreement with the complainants, claiming that their client had terminal cancer; There was even talk of a group of victims making a trip to the jail in Miami, where Martinelli was being held while awaiting extradition.

Then, in July of this year, one month after Martinelli’s extradition to the country, there were at least two rapprochement meetings between the ex-ruler and the plaintiffs. On that occasion, the complainants Balbina Herrera, Mitchell Doens, Carlos Herrera Morán, and Rosendo Rivera confirmed the meetings.

The complainants said that Martinelli would plead guilty to the wiretapping and would get seven years in prison. The victims would receive a  multi-million dollar compensation

Alma Cortés, lawyer of Martinelli, also requested an appointment with prosecutor Harry Diaz, to explore a sentence agreement, but Diaz put as a condition that he had to announce that request during the accusation hearing. that was developing at the time. He  requested in his indictment 21 years in prison .

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-seeking-plea-deal-in-wiretap-trial

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Flip flop judge gets heads up from colleague

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Jerónimo Mejía , The judge of guarantees in the case faced by ex-president Ricardo Martinelli  for illegal wiretapping and embezzlement has, warned that the plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice has already recognized that it has ” generic or objective competence to handle the case, despite the resignation of the accused as a deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen)” .”

The statement came in a report that Mejía sent on October 19 to Judge Oydén Ortega, rapporteur for an appeal for constitutional guarantees filed by Martinelli’s defense, in which he asks the court to decline jurisdiction because his client is no longer a member of Parlacen.

This week, Ortega did a 180-degree turn and circulated among his colleagues a draft decision in which he grants the appeal, for alleged violations of due process. The news sent shock waves through legal circles and media commentators with allegations that the timing and reversal of previous action were suspicious.

However, reports  La Prensa  Mejía warned Ortega that,  that  the court has already taken decisions

“The present Amparo does not make sense, because the plenary session of the Court, every time that, without having been inhibited to know about the issues raised by the defense, has decided its petitions and appeals, has recognized that the Supreme Court of Justice has generic jurisdiction  … to know the criminal proceeding against Mr. Martinelli Berrocal, “Mejía remarks in his conduct report.

Ortega, among other decisions adopted within the present folder, voted against the admission of similar amparos, denied by formal matters, on July 11 and August 16. He has also voted with the plenary -constituted in the Court- in favor of maintaining the precautionary measures of preventive detention in and denying a forensic medical evaluation among other matters.

In these acts, Ortega has been present and has never expressed concern over the issue of competition, as have his colleagues Ángela Russo, Efrén Tello, and Asunción Alonso reports La Prensa.

The appeal asks to revoke the decision taken last June 25 by the judge of guarantees, to maintain the competence of the process to Martinelli, despite his resignation from Parlacen. Mejía supported his decision in Article 233 of the Judicial Code.

The  Ortega draft decision must be submitted to analysis in the plenary of the CSJ for substantive discussion. If the favorable vote of five magistrates is received, the CSJ must decline Martinelli’s appeal.

Martinelli was extradited by the United States on June 11 and has been detained in El Renacer prison since then.

Mejía has summoned the parties to a hearing on Monday, November 19, to inform, which evidence will be admitted and which will be rejected, from the file presented by the fiscal magistrate Harry Díaz , the defense and the independent plaintiff Rosendo Rivera. Mejía must also decide whether or not Martinelli will be prosecuted for the alleged commission of crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and for embezzlement.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/flip-flop-judge-gets-heads-up-from-colleague

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Testimony of protected witness admitted to Martinelli trial

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Jeronimo Mejia
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Judge  Jerónimo Mejía, acting as judge of guarantees, has admitted the testimony of a protected witness objected to by the defense of Ricardo Martinelli, in his wiretapping hearing Mejía considered it necessary for the witness to testify during the oral trial stage and ordered that his identity be kept confidential.

Mejía admitted 14 testimonial evidence that was requested by all parties: the prosecution, headed by magistrate  Harry Díaz; the private accuser Rosendo Rivera, and the defense including  Alejandro Garuz and Gustavo Pérez. The last two who are being prosecuted for the same acts, in a case that is in the Sixteenth Criminal Court.

The testimony of 59 people (including the President of the Republic, former presidents, ex-ministers, officials of the National Security Council, auditors, among others) required by the fiscal magistrate and the private prosecutor was also admitted, and they were not challenged by the defense

The participation of Luis Enrique Rivera Calles , forensic expert of the  Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf) , who participated in the ocular inspection procedures to the email  brad.pty507@gmail.com  and several computers and hard disks, was also endorsed.  carried out at the facilities of the National Security Council. The defense had objected to its presence.

Mejía also dismissed the objections of the defense to seven booklets containing the results of the ocular inspection procedure performed to the email brad.pty507@gmail.com, which are under reserve by order of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court. “It is clear that the booklets are useful and necessary for experts,” said the magistrate.

“You will  excuse me, this was really titanic,” said Mejía at one point, while looking for documents on his desk.

Mejía also admitted as expert evidence Rivera Calles; to Luis Carlos Abrego , computer forensic expert of Iemlfc, and Chief Warrant Officer Gustavo Adolfo Scott Valdes , the Analysis Unit, Statistics and Dissemination of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) .

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/testimony-of-protected-witness-admitted-to-martinelli-trial

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Martinelli would rather give $1 million to judges than victims

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Martinelli plea deal talks collapsed
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Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli  said he would rather offer $1 million to each Supreme Court judge than to plaintiffs  in the  case of alleged illegal wiretapping  that returns to court on November 19 according to those  at a  plea deal meeting that Martinelli had requested, reports La Prensa

Lawyer Carlos Herrera Morán and wiretap  victim  Mitchell Doens, revealed that Martinelli offered up to $75,000 to the plaintiffs as part of a compensation agreement

Herrera Morán, representing Mauro Zúñiga – a victim of eavesdropping – said that the complainants indicated to the former president that the base figure of the agreement had to be $ 1 million for each one, but Martinelli replied that he preferred to give $ 1 million to each magistrate of the Court.

Negotiations for a possible agreement between  the plaintiffs  and Martinelli failed after the ex-president threatened to sue them civilly. said  Rosendo Rivera, independent plaintiff in the case, who said that in a meeting held last week with Martinelli in El Renacer prison  , the ex-governor threatened him and said he hoped he had time and life to return to power  Rivera explained that he got up from the chair and ended the conversation, describing Martinelli’s attitude as disrespectful, since it was he who requested the meeting with the complainants in the process.

He opined that once the news about Judge Oydén Ortega Durán’s ruling, which would remove the jurisdiction of the Court in the case of punctures, was leaked to the media, Martinelli seemed to lose interest in the talks.

Carlos Herrera Morán, a lawyer for Mauro Zúñiga, a victim of wiretapping, also confirmed the breakdown of conversations following Martinelli’s threats.

Morán said  the ex-president made an offer of $75,000  thousand for each plaintiff, but  they had, indicated that the base figure of the agreement had to be $1 million for each one

Martinelli replied that he preferred to give $1 million to each magistrate.

Moran sent a note to the Court and asked to investigate the way in which the draft decision prepared by Ortega Durán was leaked reports La Prensa.

PRD  figurehead Mitchell Doens – confirmed that Martinelli made an offer of $ 75,000 once the complainants withdrew the accusation presented and asked the magistrate Mejía a postponement for two months of the hearing set for November 19

Doens said there was no agreement and he will be present at Monday’s hearing in which the judge of guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, will detail which evidence presented by the prosecution, the complainants and the defense will be admitted and which not.

On September 28, Judge Mejía declared a recess in the intermediate hearing to begin the process of evaluating the evidence

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-would-rather-give-1-million-to-judges-than-wiretap-victims

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Martinelli’s sons arrested in FBI raid

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The sons of ex-President Ricardo Martinelli were arrested by Interpol in Coral Gables  Miami on Wednesday as they tried to flee an FBI raid on their father’s  $8.2 million mansion reportedly carrying bags of money to board a yacht.

Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares and Ricardo Alberto are  wanted by Panamanian justice for money laundering in the Odebrecht and Blue Apple cases
The news came hours before the ex-president was to leave El Renacer Prison to appear before Judge of Guarantees, Jeronimo Mejia for the second day to in his wiretap and embezzlement hearing.

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The Coral Gables Mansion

The information on the raid  was  first divulged by the Hispanic channel Telemundo, which said  that the arrest occurred at 9:30 a.m., when the brothers Martinelli Linares were preparing to board the yacht “White Shark ”

René Pedroza , a journalist for W Radio in Miami, said they tried to “flee”, allegedly with “bags of money.”.

On RPC Radio, former Minister Alma Cortés, one of the former president’s lawyers, said that the strategy of the defense in the United States will be coordinated by Franklin Amaya, Guillermina McDonald, and Carlos Carrillo.

The entire team were to meet at Carrillo’s office,  at 2 p.m. when they should be in the Supreme Court for the wiretap hearing

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinellis-sons-arrested-in-fbi-raid

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Thanksgiving delays court hearing for fugitive sons

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The US Visas of Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, sons of ex-President  Ricardo Martinelli, arrested in Miami, were to have appeared before a Federal judge on Wednesday afternoon but Thanksgiving preparations delayed the hearing. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE ) of the US Department of Homeland Security confirmed their detention.

“Both entered the United States legally, however, their visas were revoked in 2017 and since then they have been illegally in the United States,” said ICE, spokesman Bryan Cox.

Prosecutor  Kenia Porcell confirmed the arrest and recalled that both were facing an Interpol red alert.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/thanksgiving-delays-court-hearing-for-fugitive-sons

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Blood pressure again delays ex-president’s criminal hearing

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The  court hearing of former President Ricardo Martinelli, to reveal the evidence admitted in the case of illegal electronic  snooping  on political rivals, journalists and businessmen during his last two years in office has been delayed once again, and once again due to hypertension

The hearing was suspended on Monday , November  22  after  a recess  when  Martinelli was with his lawyers  and first aid personnel   recorded an increase  in his  blood pressure  on a day when  the  Judge of Guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, was delivering  a long list of prosecution  testimonial evidence that he was admitting, and a longer list of defense  evidence he had rejected.  It was also the day that the ex-president got the news that his two fugitive sons had been arrested in Miami and were behind bars awaiting a court hearing, prior to extradition.

His lawyers called for his removal to a private hospital, claiming that the last time he was taken to the Santo Tomas public hospital,  he received inadequate treatment before being discharged back to El Renacer prison, his home since June 11.

But the judge ordered him to  Santo Tomas for evaluation and set the resumption of the hearing  For  Thursday, November 22.

Dr. Jorge Gómez, in  the hospital the emergency room of gave Martinelli an incapacity from 10 pm on November 21 until 11:59 pm, on November 23  so on Thursday. Wednesday, Judge Mejía changed the resumption date to Monday, November 26 giving Martinelli and his legal team time to reflect that of the 28  defense testimonial evidence, he admitted 22 and refused 6. While the documentary evidence, he admitted 33 and rejected 54.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/blood-pressure-again-delays-ex-presidents-criminal-hearing

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Panama’s ex-president heads to trial facing potential 21-year sentence

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Jerónimo Mejía
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Jerónimo Mejía, the Judge of Guarantees in the initial hearing of wiretapping charges against former President Ricardo Martinelli on Monday set an oral trial date of  December 11 at 9:00 a.m. but said it will be the trial court that decides whether or not to stick to that date.

In  reading the call to trial the judge said  that Martinelli is “accused as the author of crimes against inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy in the modality of interception of telecommunications without judicial authorization and monitoring, prosecution and surveillance without authorization, as well as the author of crimes against the public administration, in different forms of embezzlement “.

Mejia  said  that the “required penalties” are: for the crime of interception of telecommunications without judicial authorization a penalty of four years of prison; for the crime of pursuit, persecution and surveillance without judicial authorization, a penalty of four years in prison; for the crime of embezzlement for abduction or embezzlement the penalty of 10 years; and for the aggravating circumstance, three years in prison. Which makes a total of 21 years in prison for Mr. Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal,”

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/panamas-ex-president-heads-to-trial-facing-potential-21-year-sentence

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Martinelli fugitive sons hearing, December 4

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The preliminary hearing in a Florida Court for the sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli, will be held on December 4 at 8 am which gives them time to contemplate the news that a key witness against them and other prominent suspects  in the Odebrecht  bribery investigation has  returned to  Panama with documentary  evidence   after confirming a deal with  the anti-corruption  prosecutor.

The date and time were set by officers from the Immigration Department of the Krome Detention Center in South Florida, where they are in custody. They were arrested in Miami on  November 21.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-fugitive-sons-hearing-december-4

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Supreme Court sidesteps Martinelli discussion

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Oyden Ortega
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The plenary of Panama’s Supreme Court in ordinary session on  Thursday, November 29 sidestepped making a final decision of the protection of guarantees that decides its competence to try former President Ricardo Martinelli, for illegal interception of communications.

Judicial sources told TVN that in the meeting the rapporteur, Oydén Ortega, presented another draft of his ruling, that differed from the one that raised a storm when it appeared on which was announced on social media.

The new draft includes modifications and also took into account the comments made to Ortega by fellow judges Cecilio Cedalise, Luis Mario Carrasco and Abel Zamorano. His original draft has been criticized by Jeronimo Mejia, the Judge of Guarantees in the case which he sent for trial earlier in the week.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/supreme-court-sidesteps-martinelli-discussion

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Martinelli  prosecutor  calls for urgent action

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Harry Diaz
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Supreme Court Judge Harry Diaz,  who is serving  as   prosecutor in the  wiretapping  case   against former president Ricardo Martinelli has sent a “special request” to the president of the  Court, Hernán De León, calling for  the guarantee protection  Amparo presented by the defense to  be resolved with “urgency”

Diaz also referred to the possibility that the case goes to the ordinary courts and in this sense requested that everything acted is maintained and not canceled.

“It is necessary to know if the Plenary of the Supreme Court will maintain or not the competence, of the process followed by former President Martinelli, before December 11, 2018 [the date set for oral trial]; because in case of maintaining the competence, the Office of the Prosecutor must prepare for everything that involves an oral trial,”says Díaz in the letter.

“We consider that because of the importance of the process and what the possible outcome represents for the administration of justice, it is not advisable to postpone a decision that may affect the normal course of the trial, hence the need to reach the final stage with the certainty that what has been done up to that moment is valid, ”

Last Monday, Judge Jerónimo Mejía , acting as judge of guarantees, validated the accusation against Martinelli and set December 11 as the start date of the trial before the plenary session, constituted in collegiate court

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-prosecutor-calls-for-urgent-action

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Martinelli Linares brothers case judge sets two million dollars bail

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 12:20

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Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, appeared today for the first hearing before the immigration judge, Adam Opaciuch in Miami, Florida after being arrested on November 20 due to immigration issues and revocation of their visas in the country. The judge set a 2 million dollars bail for both brothers, one million dollars each. If the pay the amount, the case will go to regular court and a new date will be set.

The hearing today was behind closed doors at the Krome Immigration Detention Center in Miami-Dade county, details of the audience are not known, only the lawyers and persons authorized by them were able to access, at the end they told EFE that they has set a new hearing for next December 27.

The two sons of the former Panamanian president were arrested in the Coral Gables area of Florida on November 21, we have not confirmed if there is a bail in place or they have to remain in the detention center until the next hearing.

According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) both entered the country legally, but the Government canceled their visas in 2017 and since then their legal status in the United States was revoked.

Last May, the Foreign Ministry of Panama formally requested the United States to extradite Martinelli's two sons by linking them with alleged bribes from the Brazilian construction company, Odebrecht. Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares have denied with public communications any illegal conections or payments with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, and have urged the authorities to carry out the relevant investigations to clarify this case. Ex president Ricardo Martinelli is in jail waiting to be judged claims that this is a political persecution against him and his family carried on by the president Juan Carlos Varela, trying to link them with corruption and false accusations, due to revenge.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/martinelli-linares-brothers-case-judge-sets-two-million-dollars-bail-8580

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U.S. Immigration immediately appealed the decision to grant bail.

"el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés), del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional estadounidense, presentó una apelación para impedir la excarcelación."

 

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Martinelli fugitive sons each get $1 million bail

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Fugitive Martinelli offspring
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Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares the fugitive sons of Panama’s former president Ricardo Martinelli wanted to face multi-million dollar corruption charges in Panama have been granted bail of $1 million each by a U.S.immigration judge.

Adam Opaciuch, held a hearing on Tuesday, December 4, but did not take any final decision regarding the deportation or extradition of the two sons who are subjects of an Interpol red alert.

Opaciuch called a new hearing for  December 27, at the Krome detention center, West Miami, which the two brothers entered on November 20, after being arrested by agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE). From the US Department of Homeland Security, near the family mansion located on  Sunrise Terrace, Coral Gables.

The area, known as Cocoplum, is one of the most opulent in the city reports La Prensa. The mansion was acquired by the ex-President for $8.2 million.

Journalists could not enter the hearing with Judge Opaciuch, as it was “closed” to the public, at the request of one of the parties.

The sons face two requests for extradition and red alerts from Interpol, within legal proceedings in Panama: Odebrecht and Blue Apple, both related to the payment of bribes to officials and friends of the last government.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-fugitive-sons-each-get-1-million-bail

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Supreme Court in permanent session over Martinelli

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The plenary of  Panama’s  Supreme Court which is discussing its competence  to judge the wire-tapping case  against ex-president Ricardo Martinelli  was declared in permanent session after  meeting from 9 a.m. to  3.35 p.m.  on  Thursday,  December 6

It will meet again on  Friday, at 9:00 am, to discuss the draft decision that declines the competence of the process followed by Martinelli, for presumed embezzlement and crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy.

The magistrates were summoned to discuss the draft decision prepared by the rapporteur Oydén Ortega, who granted an appeal for guarantees presented by Luis Eduardo Camacho González  one of Martinelli’s battery of lawyers,

Martinelli’s lawyer, in which he claims the loss of the Court’s jurisdiction to prosecute his client, since he lost his deputy status when he resigned from the Central American Parliament ( Parlacen ), at the end of l July.

It was the second time that they met to discuss Ortega’s project. The first was on November 29, when it was agreed to introduce modifications proposed by four magistrates.

Civil groups and legal observers are concerned that if the Supreme Court does not hear the case and it is handled by a lower court, the judge will be overwhelmed by delaying tactics and legal maneuvers introduced by a phalanx of high profile lawyers.

Prosecutor Harry Diaz is calling for a 21-year jail term for Martinelli.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/supreme-court-in-permanent-session-over-martinelli

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Martinelli Linares brothers are no longer on the ICE detainee list

Sat, 12/08/2018 - 15:42

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Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, no longer appear on the list of detainees by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE).

As Efe could verify after a search in the locator of this federal agency, both no longer appear as admitted to the immigration detention center of Krome, in south Miami, where they remained after being detained on November 20.

Last Tuesday, Immigration Judge Adam Opaciuch granted each one bail for 1 million dollars in their case for have been "illegal" in the country because their visas were revoked. A new hearing was set for next December 27.

The system confirms the audience for that day, and also reports that it will be in Miami and not in Krome, where they had their first appearance on December 4.

The two sons of the former Panamanian President, who were arrested in Coral Gables (Florida), entered the country legally, but the government canceled their visas in 2017 and since then "they stayed illegally" in the United States, according to ICE.

Last May, the Foreign Ministry of Panama formally requested that United States extradite Martinelli's sona for alleged involvement with the bribes of Odebrecht.

The sons of the former president have denied their link with the irregularities of the Brazilian company.

His father, Ricardo Martinelli, won a partial victory on Friday after the Supreme Court of his country declared himself incompetent to try him for alleged political espionage and refer the case to an ordinary court.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/martinelli-linares-brothers-are-no-longer-ice-detainee-list-8617

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Supreme Court Martinelli ruling sparks citizen outrage

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The decision of the plenary of the  Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) to decline its competence in the wiretapping case against former President  Ricardo Martinelli is seen as a gateway to impunity and creates uncertainty in a population already deeply suspicious of Panama’s judicial system.

The views come from representatives of civil society and political sectors reacting to the historic decision made by the plenary of the CSJ on December 7 and are mirrored in thousands of social media postings.

This decision seeks “impunity,” said Magaly Castillo, executive director of the Citizens Alliance for Justice who considered that what is being experienced in the administration of justice is the result of more than 25 years lost in terms of institutional reforms resulting in ‘a vicious circle of corruption and impunity. If we continue as spectators, I do not know where we are going to arrive, “she said.

“One day before Mother’s Day, when all of Panama is in celebration mode everything is coldly calculated, and Martinelli has mocked all of Panama, “Castillo said.

Juan Diego Vásquez, of the Youth Network for Transparency, described the decision of the Court, as “sad” and “worrying” because, in his opinion, it confirms there is legal insecurity in the country.

What worries most is how judges and magistrates change their positions with such ease. The only victim here is the administration of justice, prey to politics, money, and corruption. ”

The CSJ declined the jurisdiction of the case when resolving a third guarantee protection filed by Martinelli’s defense, in order to revoke the decision of the judge of guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, to maintain the jurisdiction.

Two previous protections, which also attacked Mejía’s decision, were rejected by the plenary session.

Annette Planells, of the Independent Movement,(Mobin) said she feels “frustrated.”

“All our fears about the magistrates of the Court were confirmed. Not only did they fail against their constitutional responsibility to impart justice, but they also did it in an incoherent manner, which can be interpreted as corruption and cowardice, “she said.

The candidate for mayor of the capital by deputy, Adolfo Valderrama, said through a statement that the Court’s ruling was a sad day for justice, freedom, and privacy.

He recalled that he was a victim of the espionage of former President Martinelli. “We rely on him to use the technology purchased with our taxes to protect us from drug dealers and criminals. Instead, he used it to violate our rights and invade the privacy of our homes, intercepting messages and calls between my wife and me … “, said Valderrama.

In that sense, he asked citizens not to believe in Martinelli, who seeks to become the mayor of Panama City, because he wants “the control of hundreds of security cameras …, we cannot trust Martinelli again ”

Sidney Sitton, the defense lawyer  of the former president, said he is “very excited and pleased” with the Court’s ruling, “because justice has been done, although partial.”

Martinelli’s defense had requested in his protection that everything decided by the judge of guarantees be annulled in the intermediate stage of the process. However, the ruling of the Court endorsed all decisions of Judge Mejía.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/supreme-court-martinelli-ruling-sparks-citizen-outrage

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Martinelli-case lower court judges seen easier to buy

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La Prensa cartoonist's take on Panama justice
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Reactions to the decision of Panama’s Supreme Court (CSJ)  to avoid handling the trial of former president Ricardo Martinelli for illegal wiretapping of at least 150 people continue to reverberate with representatives of civil society declaring it a mockery.

The plenary of the court decided to decline jurisdiction and send the case to the ordinary system, where “justice’’ widely perceived as going to the highest bidder.

The Independent Movement (Movin),  believes there are many Panamanians who feel mocked by the whole process and according to Horacio Icaza, all that the magistrates have done, has been a show and a pantomime.

He added that asking the magistrates to be transparent and independent is to waste time because they have shown that they are not. Seven magistrates voted in favor of this decision and only two against. Icaza also mentioned that it was a source of surprise that there were magistrates who had “a moment of conscience and change their style of judging.”

The president of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede), Mercedes Eleta, said that the CSJ does not have the best image and credibility and neither does the ordinary justice system where  people believe that it is easier to buy a judge  than one of the CSJ and that the worst of all is that the population believes that all judges are for sale.

The Martinelli case will go to the Accusatory Penal System and will be overseen by three judges.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-case-lower-court-judges-seen-easier-to-buy

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Judges said pressured to favor Martinelli 

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Wiretap victims
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Former Supreme Court president Judge José Ayú Prado is accused by plaintiffs in the illegal wiretapping trial of  Ricardo Martinelli of pressuring judges to favor the former president.

The Plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) declined  to judge the case  on Friday, December 7 and will send it to the ordinary courts (SPA)

Rosendo Rivera, a spokesperson for the plaintiffs,  said   at a Tuesday press  conference; “We Know from internal sources that Judge Ayú Prado continues to exert pressure and continues with a group of magistrates bought by Mr. Martinelli and appointed by this government, who have made an alliance to favor the cause of Mr. Martinelli,”,  Rivera  is victim of the wiretaps  and  a private accuser in  the process,

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Ayu Prado and Martinelli

Fast ascent
Ayú Prado was directly appointed by Martinelli, first as Attorney General, where he was accused of involvement with altering a witness declaration in a case involving the Martinelli, High Spirit account at the scandal-plagued  Financial Pacific brokerage.

Soon after he was appointed to the Supreme Court and became its president Earlier this year he abruptly resigned as president of the court after having announced he would seek re-election.  While he was the senior magistrate he became the most traveled judge in the history of the court.

The only two magistrates appointed by the government of Juan Carlos Varela are  Ángela Russo and Cecilio Cedalise who voted to make Ayu Prado Court president on the day they took office, Varela also appointed Asunción Alonso, substitute for Ayú Prado.

The three voted in favor of declining the jurisdiction of the case against Martinelli to a court of the accusatory penal system (SPA), four days before the scheduled date for the start of the oral trial before the plenary of the Supreme Court

The plaintiffs also questioned the role of the presiding magistrate (interim) Hernán De León  who was earlier fingered by the current Attorney  General of having confessed to “being taped.”

“Throughout all the hearings he conducted, there was a lack of knowledge of what the SPA is; We who are litigating lawyers noticed the nervousness, we noticed the lack of knowledge of the criminal system, because he is a magistrate who comes from the Civil Chamber “Rivera said, in the presence of other plaintiff victims, such as Mitchell Doens and Balbina Herrera, along with Nicomedes Castillo and Carlos Herrera Delegado, lawyers for Juan Carlos Navarro and Mauro Zúñiga, among others, said Rivera.

“It was a strategy of judge  José Ayú Prado to be behind without being blamed for any type of responsibility, to place Judge Hernán de León who, as president of the CSJ,  who has also been involved in scandal in  this case and in other cases, not giving his opinion to the face of the country, not explaining his actions for which he is being accused and thus achieving his objectives, ” Rivera  added.

“We want to denounce that Ayu Prado along with magistrate Luis Ramón Fábrega is pulling the strings to rattle the case of Martinelli. We do not agree with the decision of the Court to pass the case to the ordinary justice but we will abide by the decision,”  said. the autonomous lawyer of the case,  Rivera.

He  said he will ask that the hearings be public so that citizens have the certainty of  knowing .how it justice is served

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/judges-said-pressured-to-favor-martinelli

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Martinelli offspring lose court appeal

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Martinelli & Sons
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The plenary of Panama’s  Supreme has rejected an appeal for guarantees presented by the lawyers of the sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli,

A petition for the lifting of the electoral law for the brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares was presented by the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office on December 29, 2017, before the Electoral Tribunal (TE). The Martinelli Linares brothers enjoyed electoral privilege for participating in the internal elections of the Democratic Change Party (CD).

The brothers are free on bail in Miami, United States, after being arrested on November 20 by immigration authorities, having been illegal since their visas were revoked. In 2017. They are awaiting a December 27 hearing before a Migratory Court of Miami.  They are wanted in Panama to face corruption   and money laundering charges totaling dozens of millions of dollars

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-offspring-lose-court-appeal

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Court denies Martinelli son’s bid to avoid arrest

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Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares
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The plenum of the Supreme Court has denied a writ of habeas corpus for Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, son of ex-President Ricardo Martinelli, in the Blue Apple. money laundering case Martinelli Linares filed the habeas corpus through his lawyer to block the warrant issued by the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office on September 24 of this year.

The prosecution requested a red alert through Interpol for his arrest.

At an earlier hearing, the court rejected an appeal for the two brothers in the Odebrecht bribery case.

Swiss prosecutors have frozen over $22 million in bank accounts, and Panama has seized a luxury  apartment in Madrid and a helicopter

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/court-denies-martinelli-sons-bid-to-avoid-arrest

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