Martinelli asks Pompeo to say no to extradition for political reasons

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  • Thu, 05/31/2018 - 18:43
Ricardo Martinelli
  • EFE

The defense representing Ricardo Martinelli announced that the former Panamanian president asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to take into account the "political reasons" of the case and not to extradite the former Panamanian president, since the current president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, is capable of violating his "human rights".

"We ask the secretary of state to deny Panama extradition because of its political nature," lawyer Inna Shapovalov told reporters today. The lawyer will represent Martinelli before that US court.

The lawyer highlighted that if Martinelli is submitted to the justice system in his country, he “might” be treated inhumanly, and be "tortured" by the authorities and that his due process might be violated.

She also stated that the lack of "independence" and "corruption" in the Panamanian judicial sphere "increases" the impossibility of a fair trial.

The defense representing Martinelli, who has been imprisoned since June 2017 in Miami, thus presented details of the new strategy before the State Department, which will make the final decision of extradition, after two federal judges said that there are no legal obstacles for his extradition.

Shapovalov and Martinelli's spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho, said they had "withdrawn" all appeals in the US courts so that the State Department could rule as soon as possible.

Both stressed that the petition, filed on May 15, highlights the political enmity documented by the press between Martinelli and Varela, at the risk that his "human rights" might be violated if he is extradited to Panama and also in the interests of the government of President Donald Trump.

"Mike Pompeo must review this petition in accordance with the Trump policies," said the lawyer.

An open letter from Martinelli to the State Department was published last week in which he claims to be the victim of a "political vendetta" of Varela, in addition to having defended the interests of the United States and following instructions from the CIA (Central Intelligence Office) ).

Shapovalov explained that taking into account that the Court of Appeals of the Eleventh Judicial District of the USA accepted on Tuesday the motion of the defense to withdraw an appeal, the State Department has from that date sixty days to answer.

Martinelli withdrew last week the appeals process with which he sought to stop his submission to Panamanian justice, which requested him for a case of illegal wiretapping.

Shapovalov said that extradition cases in US courts are "very limited", since judges only allow them to determine what concerns extradition treaties and "no other facts" and must "refrain from seeing the political situation".

She noted that in these cases the courts have a doctrine that does not allow the investigation of the facts.

On the contrary, the lawyer said that the Secretary of State has "very broad latitude" to review these cases and can take into account the political situation of the facts and even humanitarian issues.

Camacho told Efe that this new tactic ends "all appeals", as well as requests for bail, so that Secretary Pompeo can take charge of the matter, which was not possible if the case depended even on judicial decisions.

She clarified that ruling out the fight in the courts does not imply that Martinelli "accepts" the extradition, and said the former president trusts the rule of law in the United States.

She said that the withdrawal of the appeal was not opposed by the United States Attorney's Office, which represented the Panamanian Government during the extradition trial.

The former president has been arrested in Miami since June 12, 2017 because of a request for extradition from the Supreme Court of Panama that wants to try him for crimes related to a network of illegal wiretapping that he operated during his administration (2009-2014).



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