Martinelli's Legal Challenges At Home And Abroad| MENAFN.COM

Sunday, 02 April 2023 02:48 GMT

Martinelli's Legal Challenges At Home And Abroad

(MENAFN- Newsroom Panama)

The Spanish company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) is under investigation for money laundering and international corruption in the contracts they received in Panama during the Martinelli administration.

In the investigations that are being carried out in Madrid, Martinelli is accused, as well as Panamanian lawyer Mauricio Cort, as an alleged frontman for Martinelli.

The decision of the court to grant the extension obeys the request by the anti-corruption prosecutor because investigative proceedings regarding Line 1 of the Panama Metro and the Hospital City ar e still pending.

The prosecution's request was backed by the Baltasar Garzón International Foundation (Fibgar), which acts as a private prosecutor of

Martinelli's lawyers have tried on several occasions, but without success, to remove their client from the process. And, like those of Cort, they oppose the continuation of the investigation.

Martinelli intends to run as a presidential candidate in the 2024 elections. However, judicial problems – which
he calls“political persecution” harass him

Complicated year
On July 28, 2023, the investigations in Spain must be concluded and it will be known if
Martinelli will be called to answer for crimes of corruption and money laundering, which allegedly took place in that country.

The Spanish authorities, together with those of Switzerland and Andorra, keep millions of dollars in custody in accounts that, were fed with funds from corruption.

Likewise, a luxurious residence in the Los Jerónimos neighborhood, presumed to have been acquired with illicit funds, and remodeled by Martinelli's eldest son, Ricardo Martinelli Linares, remains under surveillance in Madrid.

But, before that, Martinelli must face justice in Panama. On April 17, he must appear at the New Business hearing the scheme that was used for the purchase of Editora Panamá América, S.A. (Epasa ) through the diversion of funds of illicit origin received from State contractors.

On August 1, Martinelli faces another trial, for alleged money laundering of the bribes paid by Odebrecht in Panama. The two sons of Martinelli, who will also be prosecuted in this case, confessed before a New York judge to laundering $28 million in bribes from Odebrecht, through the US financial system.

Last week , the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken , announced the official designation of Martinelli as having participated in 'acts of significant corruption.'

'Specifically, Martinelli accepted bribes in exchange for improperly awarding government contracts during his term as president,' said Blinken, just minutes after his country handed over to the Panamanian authorities the two Martinellis who had been deported from the United States, after serving their sentence for money laundering.

Setback in Spain
On several occasions, the former president has tried to discredit the investigation carried out by the National Court in Spain. However, the case against him continues.

In October 2020, when Fibgar filed a complaint against Martinelli to be recognized as part of the process that had begun in Spain in 2017 for alleged crimes of money laundering and corruption in international economic transactions, he stated that it was a dirty campaign against him due to the success of his new political party, Realizando Metas (RM).

“My enemies use their international contacts to get a Spanish clown to file a reckless complaint,” said Martinelli, referring to former judge and president of Fibgar, Baltasar Garzón.


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