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There is growing expectation on Martinelli’s arrival

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  • Sun, 06/10/2018 - 09:52
Expresidente Ricardo Martinelli junto a Luis Eduardo Camacho
  • Expresidente Ricardo Martinelli junto a Luis Eduardo Camacho
  • Twitter @camachocastro

The spokesman of former President Ricardo Martinelli, Luis Eduardo Camacho, reported that he had a communication with the former Head of State who said: "I'm happy, I'm coming soon, we'll see each other there; it’s time to fight hard now. Get ready, I’ll go for it, hopefully it’ll be as soon as possible," wrote Camacho on Twitter.

The decision of the US Department of State to grant the extradition to Panama of former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) was due to the former president's desire to weiver the appeals against his status as extraditable, said Luis Eduardo Camacho.

Camacho stated that this "resulted in that extradition, to which he had been opposing, was transferred to the State Department, which legally must decide whether or not to extradite the former president or any other person".

He added that when Martinelli made this decision "he was aware that in that fact another fact was concrete: extradition or no extradition".

Martinelli weived at the end of last May the appeals filed in US courts with which he intended to stop his surrender to the Panamanian Justice.

Once Martinelli arrives in Panama, said Camacho, he has to be surrendered to the authority that requested him, in this case the magistrate, who should only notify him why he is being requested, why he was surrendered , and should be released immediately".

"An injunction cannot be issued against Martinelli by the magistrate, because said injunction can only be approved by the plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ)," Camacho said.

He added that Martinelli "should be notified of why he is being detained, and since there is no arrest warrant, he has to be released, but that is a rule of law, and we do not live in a rule of law in Panama".

 

Prosecutor will evaluate actions to be taken

Prosecutor Harry Díaz said that along with the plaintiffs in the case of illegal wiretapping against Ricardo Martinelli will evaluate the "actions to be taken" once the former president is extradited to Panama, as already approved by the US Department of State, where he has been imprisoned since June 2017.

"Once he is surrendered here and we are notified that he is in Panamanian territory, then also the plaintiffs with me will evaluate to see what actions we are going to take," said Díaz, who in December 2015 requested the arrest of the former president.

Díaz requested in a writ of indictment in October 2015 up to 21 years in prison for Martinelli for crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and against the public administration and its different forms of embezzlement.

In December 2015, the Supreme Court of Justice authorized the provisional detention of Martinelli for the case of wiretapping. In May 2016 he sent the Foreign Ministry the extradition request, which was formally submitted to the United States in September of that year.

Díaz did not speculate on the time it will take the arrival of the former president to Panama, but said that "he must obviously come in the same conditions in which he is in the United States," that is, detained.

Once Martinelli is in Panama, "we will have to set a hearing" before the plenary of the Supreme Court, something that "will have to depend a lot on his lawyers, to see how they want to overcome this," said the prosecutor.

In that hearing "I imagine, I infer (...) that the lawyers will notify the health condition of Martinelli and that they will request some precautionary measure" other than detention, and "that measure" must be decided by the plenary session of the Court," he said.

Concerning the possible date of the hearing, Díaz just said "that it depends a lot on the lawyers", and on the decision of the plenary session regarding the precautionary measures that might be issued against Martinelli, he said that "I wish I were Nostradamus" to predict it.

Martinelli left Panama for Guatemala, place of the Parlacen headquarters, on January 28, 2015, the same day that the Supreme Court opened the first criminal case against him: the purportedly irregular purchase of dehydrated food through from an official agency.

Martinelli, 66, is requested by the Supreme Court for a case of illegal wiretapping affecting more than a hundred opponents during his government, one of the about a dozen criminal cases opened by the highest court against the former president.

Resource EFE

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