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Tuesday, 11 May 2021 10:28 GMT

Moves underway for extradition of Martinelli''s former-secretary


(MENAFN - Newsroom Panama) Fugitive Adolfo Chichi De Obarrio, former personal secretary of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli is not yet off the hook as Judge  Lorena Martínez Hernández, head of the Second Liquidator Court, begins the process of notifying interested parties of the request for extradition made by the Public Ministry for alleged embezzlement and fraud in purchasing and distributing backpacks – for  $12 million–, through the defunct National Aid Program (PAN).

As part of the process, on July 10, 2018, the then fifteenth criminal judge, Leslie Loaiza opened a criminal case against De Obarrio and Abraham Williams, who served as assistant to Rafael Guardia Jaén, former head of the PAN.

At that time, both were fugitives and, Loaiza ordered the security forces to arrest them. In the case of De Obarrio, he asked Interpol to issue a red alert for his capture.

Loaiza also validated a collaboration agreement signed by the prosecution with Guardia Jaén, who pointed to De Obarrio as "the person who gave him instructions and who chose which companies should be hired," while Williams "followed up on the documents for the program executions ”.

Once the parties are notified and any objection of them, if any, is resolved, Judge Lorena Martínez Hernández must send the request to the Chancellery so that, , it can carry out the procedure before the Italian authorities.De Obarrio, who is also accused of the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering in the Blue Apple case, is in Italy. He was arrested in that country on April 7 at the request of Panama, but a week later he was released because the extradition treaty between the two countries was not ratified by the National Assembly.

The legal framework on which the delivery of De Obarrio to Panama should be structured is precisely that treaty, signed by authorities of the two countries in 2013, but for it to come into force it had to be ratified by the Legislature.

The Italian Parliament ratified it in 2016. Instead, the Foreign Relations Commission of the Panama Assembly refused to do so. In 2017, that commission endorsed a Judicial Assistance agreement between the two nations, but not the extradition one.

 La  Prensa asked the Foreign Ministry if it will negotiate with the National Assembly for the ratification of the extradition treaty with Italy, but there was no response.

 

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