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Martinelli case advances to trial stage with uncertainty about Court jurisdiction

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  • Mon, 11/19/2018 - 22:20
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Next Wednesday the process of admission of evidence in the case of former President Ricardo Martinelli, accused of supposed illegal wiretapping during his term (2009-2014), will continue. On Monday, November 19, the intermediary hearing resumed. Yesterday began the review of dozens of evidences presented by Magistrate Jerónimo Mejía.

Although the audience revolved around the admission of evidence, the issue of the jurisdiction or lack thereof of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) was the protagonist. While the defense qualified a pronouncement of the Plenary Session as a priority so that the judicial process runs its course, Judge Jerónimo Mejía, reiterated that there is no doubt that the Court is the ideal entity to continue handling the case of the former president and not the ordinary justice.

"We are frustrated because we believe that the jurisdiction of the CSJ has already been lost," said Carlos Carrillo, Martinelli's defense lawyer.

In that sense the attorney, Luis Camacho considered the audience unnecessary, "I think the hearing is unnecessary. It is a wear because before discussing on an important issue such as the jurisdiction of a magistrate, they had to await the plenary session’s ruling in favor or against."

The plaintiffs highlighted the process of admission of evidence carried out on Monday, "the evidence from the Prosecutor’s Office and the autonomous accuser were recognized by almost 99%. For us that is important. For us, what we have expressed has been confirmed. What has been expressed? That if there were punctures and if there was responsibility on the part of the former president of the Republic," said Balbina Herrera, victim of the alleged illegal wiretapping, upon leaving the hearing.

"We believe that what we have within the trial is enough to condemn Mr. Ricardo Martinelli," said Nicomedes Castillo, a plaintiff's attorney against the Panamanian former president.

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