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Panamanian Supreme orders notice of rights proceeding for Martinelli

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  • Mon, 06/11/2018 - 21:13
Ricardo Martinelli
  • EFE

The Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) of Panama summoned today a "notice of rights proceeding" for former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, extradited Monday by the United States.

That proceeding to be held on Monday at 17:00 local time (22:00 GMT) "will be presided by the supervisory magistrate, Jerónimo Mejia, where Harry Díaz will act as supervising magistrate," added the brief statement from the Panamanian Judicial Branch.

According to the information disseminated by the local media, the hearing is public and 600 seats have been set up for the public and the media.

Martinelli arrived at the seat of the Supreme Court heavily escorted and from El Renacer prison, on the outskirts of the Panamanian capital where he was taken after his arrival extradited by the United States.

His lawyers also arrived at the headquarters of the Panamanian Supreme Court, including Sydney Sittón, Carlos Carrillo, Alma Cortés, as well as the complainants in the case of the wiretaps, including Balbina Herrera and Mitchell Doens.

Martinelli must stand trial before the Supreme Court for a case of illegal wiretapping during his term (2009-2014), which involves crimes that may be punishable up to 21 years in prison.

The defense lawyer representing the former president, Sydney Sittón, told Efe Monday that "in a maximum of 48 hours" Martinelli "should be brought to the Supreme Court" for a "legality control hearing".

It is unclear whether this so-called "notice of rights" is the same as the "legality control hearing", in which the plenary of magistrates must be, to listen to the parties and decide on precautionary measures for Martinelli, according to lawyers interviewed by Efe.

It is expected that in that hearing the defense appeals to Martinelli's chronic health conditions to request a precautionary measure other than preventive detention, a request that will be kept by Supervising Magistrate Harry Díaz, according to the analysis of local lawyers. 

Source- EFE

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