Martinelli Holed Up In Nicaraguan Embassy Seeking Political Asylum

(MENAFN- Newsroom Panama) Sidney Sitton & Eduardo Camacho at the embassy of Nicaragua

172Views 0Comment Posted 07/02/2024 Shar

The Foreign Minister of Nicaragua, Denis Moncada Colindires, sent a note to the Foreign Ministry of Panama that former president Ricardo Martinelli“requested asylum at the embassy of the Republic of Nicaragua in Panama, because he considered himself persecuted for political reasons and his life, physical integrity, and safety were at imminent risk.

Martinelli was sentenced to 128 months in prison and a fine of $19.2 million after being found guilty of money laundering, in the New Business case.

The Supreme Court of Justice did not admit a series of appeals presented by his lawyers, including an appeal for cassation.

After the decision of the Court, he must formalize his disqualification for the next elections. Martinelli's sentence was to become final on Friday, February 9, so his arrest could be ordered.

Members of the National Police are guarding the streets around the Nicaraguan Embassy in Panama, in the La Alameda sector, in the capital, after confirming the presence of the former president at the diplomatic headquarters.

Nicaragua has granted asylum to other former Central American presidents and senior officials who face problems with justice, including former Salvadoran presidents Mauricio Funes (2009-2014) and Salvador Sánchez Cerén (2014-2019).

Recognizing that Asylum is an Institution of a humanitarian nature and that all persons may be under its protection, without distinction of nationality, the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua has decided to grant Asylum to Mr. Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal, Former President of the Republic of Panama," indicated the note from the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry.

The Nicaraguan government also requested in the note that Panama provide assurances for the prompt departure and humanitarian transfer of the asylum seeker Ricardo Martinelli to the territory of Nicaragua.

This is not the first time that Nicaraguan authorities have appeared in a case on behalf of Martinelli and members of his family.

The brothers Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares were sworn in virtually on August 16, 2023, as substitute deputies of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) in a meeting held in Nicaragua.

This swearing-in took place five days before the start of the trial for the Blue Apple case, where both are the main defendants. They are also involved in the Odebrecht case.

According to lawyer Shirley Castañeda, and Martinelli's legal team, they received information that by order of President Laurentino Cortizo, Vice President, José Gabriel Carrizo, and Roy Cortizo wanted to put the former president in prison to kill him and for that reason on February 6, they filed a criminal complaint against these three figures.


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