A parliamentary subcommittee was created today in Panama to decide whether to recommend admitting or rejecting one of eight lawsuits filed against Supreme Court judge Harry Díaz, who acts as prosecutor in the trial for illegal wiretapping against former President Ricardo Martinelli.
This is a complaint for the alleged commission of the crime against honor and violation of the law of judicial career, filed in 2016 by former vice minister of the Presidency María Fábrega (2009-2012) and Oswaldo Fernández.
The fact that the complaint was reopened almost two years later has raised suspicion in the Panamanian political world, since it was decided by the opposition deputy Sergio "Chello" Gálvez, an ally of former President Martinelli (2009-2014) .
Gálvez presides over the strategic Credentials Committee of the National Assembly (AN) since July and is deputy of Cambio Democrático (CD), the party founded two decades ago by Martinelli and which is going through an internal crisis since the former president fled from Panama in the 2015 alleging "political persecution".
The Panamanian law establishes that senior officials such as the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice and the President of the Republic can only be investigated and prosecuted by the National Assembly, whose deputies, in turn, can only be investigated and prosecuted by the judges of the Supreme Court.
Gálvez announced on Thursday that the subcommittee that will analyze the complaint filed in 2016 against Díaz will be chaired by deputies Mariela Vega (CD); Miguel Salas, of the ruling Panameñista Party (PPa), and Alfredo Pérez, of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).
They will have a month to suggest the Legislative Plenary, of 71 seats, at least 50 in the hands of the opposition, to admit or reject that claim, said Gálvez.
In total there are 8 complaints against Judge Díaz in the Credentials Committee. One of them, for the alleged commission of the crime against the administration of justice as concealer, was filed this Thursday.
On Thursday, the Credentials Committee heard a third lawsuit against Díaz and at a next meeting the deputies will decide whether to file it or submit it for a subcommittee's analysis to recommend what to do.
This complaint was filed by the forensic firm Vega y Vega, representing attorney Ángel Álvarez, for the possible commission of the crimes against honor, against the Administration of Justice, against the internal status of the State and/or in the crimes committed.
"There are eight cases against magistrate Harry Díaz (...) there are still five to review," said Gálvez, who said he does not want any pending cases in the Committee before the election of a new Parliament in the general elections to be held in May 2019.