John Feeley speaks and triggers reactions in Panama

  • Feeley durante su último día en la Embajada estadounidense en Panamá
  • Twitter @USEmbPAN

A groundswell popped up concerning the case of former President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, after statements released in a media of his country by the former ambassador of the United States, John Feeley.

The diplomat said that being an official of the American embassy in the Central American country, he can meddle to achieve the arrest and subsequent issuance of Martinelli's extradition.

"I pressed for his arrest," Feeley told the audience while saying that with this action "a signal was sent" about embezzlement, establishment of corruption as well as the fact that nepotism and cronyism" would not be tolerated, nor could be overcome by judicial cooperation from state to state".

As expected, reactions were immediate and reached the highest levels of Panamanian power. Isabel De Saint Malo, vice president and foreign minister of the republic, stood aside, noting that "the role of the United States embassy in having required former President Ricardo Martinelli is an issue that should be clarified by former Ambassador John Feeley.

Sidney Sitton, defense lawyer, questioned the fact that the Embassy of the United States in Panama was the source of information on the suspension, at a time when the legal team was preparing to perform the legal proceedings for his release.

A phrase that is repeated on social networks since the confession of John Feeley was made public is "a confession lacking evidence. This was written by a spokesman for the former president, Luis Eduardo Camacho, and his son with the same name, former vice minister of commerce, who claimed that "the dark force behind Martinelli's arrest is evident".

Of course, Maria Linares de Martinelli, wife and former lady of the republic, could not be excluded from reactions and said "remember he pushed or put in the State Department the fake Affidavit when in Panama the wiretapping case was closed, with the support of the Foreign Ministry. Draw your conclusions".

All this happens in decisive times for Martinelli’s case since the defense team is fine-tuning the details to raise the legal strategy to follow in favor of the extradition process.

Ricardo Martinelli has been arrested since 2017 in a federal jail in Miami, United States, and he is charged for the so-called wiretapping case.

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