Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli alleged before a US Appellate Court that it was not improper for Judge Marcia G. Cook to grant him bail while awaiting the final decision on extradition, suspended after the Prosecutor's appeal.
"Far from a clear mistake, the district court had a broad reason why President Martinelli meets the requirements" to be released, said the lawyers in a 65-page document, according to Efe.
They requested the Appellate Court for the Eleventh Court District, based in Atlanta, Georgia, to reaffirm Judge Cooke's decision, which they consider "well founded and justified."
They reiterated that there are "special circumstances" to release 66-year old Martinelli, and requested for extradition by his country for the crimes of illegal wiretapping.
The US Attorney's Office, which represents the government of Panama, appealed last February for Judge Cooke's decision to grant the former president bail.
According to the defense, the former president, who has been arrested since June 2017, "did not flee and will not flee" because of his extensive and permanent ties with the United States.
Similarly he also referred to his asylum process in this country and his "desire to run for Mayor in Panama City and for Vice President of the Republic" which was announced "on June 5, 2017", a week before his arrest.
The defense document was presented this Thursday by Martinelli's lawyers in the Atlanta court, and now the Prosecutor's office will count from that date with seven more days to respond to the defense's arguments.
Sidney Sittón talked to PanamaToday to present the 65 pages documents presented this Thursday to the court in Atlanta (Georgia), prosecutor´s office has 7 days to oppose to the defense arguments, and 3 weeks to resolve a fail sentence: http://docdro.id/YP7vtqK
In a statement to Efe, the spokesman for Martinelli, Luis Eduardo Camacho, said today that the decision on bail is in effect: "it was suspended, but not repealed."
Last week the Prosecutor's Office reiterated to the court of appeals its rejection of bail on the grounds that "the statute makes it quite clear" that the "fugitive" must remain in custody once the court has "certified" his extradition.
He added that Judge Cooke applied "improperly" the "special circumstances" that are required in extradition cases when Martinelli was granted bail on February 13.
Camacho also said that even the defense "has not announced an appeal to the extraditable condition."
Last August, Judge Edwin Torres ruled in favor of Martinelli’s extradition to Panama and Judge Cooke corroborated that decision in a ruling in January. EFEUSA