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Martinelli trusts Panamanian justice and will prove his innocence

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  • Tue, 06/19/2018 - 21:15
Ricardo Martinelli
  • Ricardo Martinelli - EFE

Former President Ricardo Martinelli said today that he came to Panama, extradited by the United States, because he trusts in Panamanian justice and because he considers that he is innocent of the case of illegal wiretapping of which he is accused and for which he is prosecuted by the Panamanian Supreme Court.

"I wanted to come to Panama to face this case to prove their fallacies. I am completely innocent, I have nothing to do with this," said Martinelli before the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) during a hearing requested by the defense to change his preventive detention by house arrest.

Martinelli added that he is going to prove his innocence in the whole series of "groundless cases invented against me” and therefore, I state "I came to restore my name, my reputation, all the time I lost because they have slandered me, they have insulted me, they have closed all my accounts. I have absolutely nothing".

He also said that he is " not  fool" nor does he intend to evade justice, "I want to confront this case before the Panamanian people," and warned that if the prosecution has more than 70 witnesses "they will see what we have." 

Martinelli

Photo: EFE

The former president said that he returned extradited under the specialty provision to be prosecuted only for the case of wiretapping, but that, he stated, "I could have been left in the US until the end of Juan Carlos Varela’s Government."

He added that he thinks that there is a "mysterious influence" behind his case.

He also stated that during the year he was imprisoned in Miami he was locked up "like a dog without being able to read, but I stayed like a man", and considered a five-star hotel El Renacer prison, where he is detained after his extradition, in comparison with his "confinement" in the United States.

Martinelli insisted on his innocence, during the intervention authorized by Judge Hernán De León who presides over this hearing, highlighting that "this is a political proceeding to politically disqualify me" in the framework of the general elections of May 2019.

Regarding his health condition, one of the arguments of his defense to request the change of preventive detention by house arrest, Martinelli said he does have problems but he unknows who was the person who said he has prostate cancer.

Likewise, the former president said that his doctor has told him that he is at risk of suffering from another type of cancer, which he did not specify, so he asked that he be "considered" because he is a 66-year-old person.

Likewise, Martinelli stated that all his rights have been violated since in his case they "skipped" the imputation phase to accuse him directly.

After the intervention of the Panamanian former president, the plenary of magistrates declared an approximately three-hour recess to decide on the request of the defense.

Martinelli's team of lawyers argued that the conditions that led to the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice to decree in December 2015 the provisional detention as a precautionary measure against the former president changed, including the flight risk.

The defense again made use of arguments such as that the former president has not been formally charged, or that once he appeared before the Panamanian Justice, the condition of rebellion that led the Court to order his provisional detention ceases.

Martinelli's team of lawyers argued that the conditions that led to the full Supreme Court of Justice to decree in December 2015 the provisional detention as a precautionary measure to the exmandatario changed, including the danger of flight.
The defense again made use of arguments such as that the former president has not been formally charged, or that once he appeared before the Panamanian Justice, the condition of rebellion that led the Court to order his provisional detention ceases.
The Supreme Panamanian ratified today the provisional detention of former President Ricardo Martinelli, who sought to change this measure by house arrest that would allow him to face the trial against him for illegal wiretapping during his term (2009-2014).

The decision was taken by the plenary session of nine judges of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) after a hearing to review the precautionary measure of provisional detention requested by the defense, which sought replacement by domiciliary deposit and the periodic notification of Martinelli before The authorities.

Judge Hernán De León added that the vote of this decision "was unanimous" of the 9 magistrates, before concluding the hearing, which began shortly after 9.00 local time (14.00 GMT) and extended until after 9.30 pm local (02.30 GMT on Wednesday).

In today's ruling, read by magistrate Luis Mario Carrasco, the plenary ratified this precautionary measure, stating that no new element or circumstance has been given that would make it necessary to change it.

The ruling, which took more than two hours to be issued by the plenary, also indicated that the health situation has not been proven.

The magistrates pointed out that Martinelli, 66, suffers from chronic ailments that can be treated with medication "that can be administered at the El Renacer penitentiary", where he has been held since he was delivered to Panama by the US.

On the one-year detention in a federal prison in the United States, the plenum of the Supreme Court held that it "did not occur as a consequence of the December 2015 arrest warrant" issued by the CSJ, "but of the extradition process in your against. "

Complainants and victims of illegal wiretapping, such as former Minister of Labor and former Secretary General of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) Mitchel Doens and his co-candidate and former presidential candidate Balbina Herrera, applauded the "unanimous" decision taken by the full Court. The alleged victim Balbina Herrera told reporters that "justice was done" in maintaining Martinelli's detention in El Renacer prison, "while the defense did not give statements after the hearing began yesterday morning.

Another defender, Carlos Carrillo, alleged that the chronic illnesses of Ricardo Martinelli, such as the high blood pressure that forced his hospitalization last week, make it necessary to change the precautionary measure.

"Until today is not charged (...) could not proceed in any way preventive detention," said Carrillo before the judges of the Supreme Court, argument refuted by the prosecutor, Harry Diaz, claiming that this point was already widely explained and is "outdated".

The former president spoke during his speech and said he came to Panama, extradited by the US, because he trusts the justice of his country and because he considers himself innocent.

Martinelli added that he will prove his innocence in the series of "unfounded cases" that have "invented" him, and that is why, "I came to recover my name, my reputation, all the time I lost because they have slandered me, they have insulted me, they have closed all my accounts, I have absolutely nothing. "

The Panamanian Supreme Court set for June 25 the indictment hearing against Martinelli for the case of the illegal wiretapping, after judge Díaz requested that proceeding on June 11.

Ex esposa de Martinelli

Photo: EFE

PANAMA CITY (PANAMA), 06/19/2018.- Marta Linares, wife of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, spoke with the press outside the Supreme Court of Justice today, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Panama City (Panama ). Martinelli said today that he came to Panama, extradited by the US, because he trusts the Panamanian justice and because he considers he is innocent of the case of illegal wiretapping of which he is accused and for which he is prosecuted by the Panamanian Supreme Court. "I wanted to come to Panama to face this case to prove its fallacies. I am completely innocent. I have nothing to do with this," said Martinelli before the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) during a hearing requested by the defense to change his preventive detention by house arrest. EFE / Bienvenido Velasco

 

 

 

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