Court will decide if it admits Martinelli's complaints for slander

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  • Wed, 02/27/2019 - 16:35
Court will decide if it admits Martinelli's complaints for slander
  • EFE-Archivo

A Court of Guarantees of Panama will decide on Thursday the admission or not of two lawsuits filed against three people by former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), detained in a trial by alleged illegal eavesdropping, reported on Wednesday the Judicial Branch (JB).

One complaint is against two citizens for the offense against the honor of the natural person (slander and insult), and the other is against a third citizen for the offense against public administration in the form of omission in the exercise of their functions, indicated the judicial information without further details.

The lawyer Alejandro Pérez, who requested the hearing on behalf of the former president, said on Wednesday to Acan-Efe that one of the defendants is the former director of International Legal Affairs and Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Farah Diva Urrutia, by omission in the exercise of its functions.

He explained that the complaint against Urrutia is for the conditions under which Martinelli was extradited from the United States and received in Panama in June 2018.

Urrutia currently holds the position of Secretary of Multidimensional Security in the Organization of American States (OAS).

Martinelli also filed a complaint in August 2018 against the chancellor and vice president of Panama, Isabel De Saint Maló, from whom he seeks a compensation of 20 million dollars for allegedly having wrongly processed his extradition from the US.

Pérez told to Acan-Efe that the other lawsuit is against lawyer Mariela Ledezma and civil society activist Anette Planells for slander and libel for "accusations of (the alleged) commission of crimes that have not been proven" to the former president.

Already the Panamanian Prosecutor's Office rejected last November Martinelli's lawsuit against Planells and Ledezma arguing that it did not comply with the "formal requirements" established by law, and that "none of the arguments they used found support in the legislation".

Martinelli, held in a minimum security prison located in the outskirts of Panama, also filed a complaint for libel and slander against the president of the publishing group El Siglo and La Estrella (Gese), Eduardo Quirós, and five editors, for an article of opinion published in October 2018 entitled "The madman's tantrums" and signed by Mariano Mena.

The former president has also filed a criminal complaint against the politician Mitchell Doens, one of the victims of alleged illegal eavesdropping and complainant in the process, from whom Martinelli requires a reimbursement of 30 million dollars.

The former first lady Marta Linares de Martinelli presented a demand in her request that "order the media (...) especially the newspaper La Prensa, stop and refrain from disclosing or publishing facts and situations of private and family nature, and the first and last names or surnames in general of the family group, as part of a media campaign against the members of this Panamanian family".

"The demand is for family protection and the family image, for publishing journalistic notes in which the link of their children is mentioned with the Odebrecht case, which investigates the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office", according to the newspaper La Prensa.

For the next March 12 the oral trial is scheduled to Martinelli for the case of illegal eavesdropping and embezzlement, which faces a penalty of 21 years.


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