Sunday, February 5, 2023

Former President Martinelli calls for a new trial in Panama

PANAMA ( Associated Press) – A court has called former President Ricardo Martinelli on trial for the crime of money laundering in a case related to the alleged purchase with illegal funds of a publisher that publishes national newspapers, judicial officials said Friday. informed to

With this process, the former president will face two separate trials in 2023. A month earlier the same judge ordered that a case involving millionaire bribes paid by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht to obtain public works contracts in Panama also be prosecuted for money laundering.

Regarding the process of the purchase of the publishing house, Amaldo Marquez, Senior Prosecutor Against Organized Crime, said in statements to the press that the court “issued an order summoning the former president to stand trial for crimes against the economic system in the country”. did.” form of money laundering”.

The judicial body explained in a statement that, after a preliminary hearing held in November, the criminal cases judge considered that “there was evidence which proved that the funds investigated were of illegal origin.” He also noted that the court “established a link between the former President of the Republic and the crime of money laundering.”

Martinelli and 20 others will be tried between April and June 2023 in a case called “New Business”, opened by the Ministry of Public Affairs in 2017. The prosecutor’s office says that its investigation has determined that through a complex scheme of transferring funds to a bank, funds in the amount of $ 43 million were transferred to a company outside the local square for the purchase of a publishing house. to be done.

Martinelli was already acquitted in two trials in 2020 and 2021 on the same count of spying on politicians, journalists, trade unions and civil society figures. At the request of Panamanian judicial authorities, the United States extradited Martinelli to face trial for wiretapping.

Martinelli, who has expressed his desire to return to power in the 2024 elections, has said the procedures he is facing are politically motivated and seek to undermine his presidential aspirations.

Nation World News Desk
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