Martinelli denounces two magistrates of the Supreme Court before Panamanian parliament

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  • Fri, 12/28/2018 - 11:21
Martinelli denounces two magistrates of the Supreme Court before Panamanian parliament
  • EFE

Former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), under arrest in a process for allegedly wiretapping on his mandate, presented today before the National Assembly (AN), through his lawyers, a criminal complaint against two magistrates of the Panamanian Supreme Court.

The complaint was submitted by Alejandro Perez, Martinelli's defense team, before the general secretary of the AN, Franz Wever, with a copy to the legislative commission of credentials, against magistrates Luis Mario Carrasco and Abel Zamorano for the crimes of dereliction of duties and abuse of authority.

The Commission of Credentials has among its functions to hear complaints against the president of the country and judges of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), which in turn has the power to prosecute the deputies of the AN.

Carrasco and Zamorano voted against the decision adopted earlier this month by the majority of the plenary of the CSJ in which the jurisdiction of this justice corporation was declined to prosecute Martinelli since he was not a deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).

With this decision, Martinelli's case for political espionage will go to a trial court of the Accusatory Penal System (SPA).

Perez told reporters that the process has entered into an impasse because Judges Carrasco and Zamorano have not drafted their dissenting votes, so the judgment is not final.

This, according to Perez, has delayed the passage of the case to the SPA, which does not allow the former president to have a Tribunal before which he can exercise his right to defense.

On December 12, the Attorney General, Kenia Porcell, the Prosecution requested the CSJ details of the procedure to choose the judges and the trial date to be made to Martinelli for the case of illegal wiretapping.

On Tuesday, December 11, the oral and public trial of Ricardo Martinelli began, date established by the judge of Guarantees, Judge Jeronimo Mejia, but the decision of the plenary session of the Supreme Court to pass the case to an ordinary SPA court has delayed it.

In a letter to the president of the CSJ, Hernan De Leon, filtered by the media, Porcell said that the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) wants to know the method or procedure that will be used for the election of the trial judges of Martinelli.

Porcell also asked for details about what the mechanism to choose the Martinelli trial date will be if the calendar of audiences in operation or a different formula will be used.

The trial against the former president, who claims to be innocent and a political persecutor, began in 2015 when he had left Panama and was a Central American deputy, which gave the Supreme Court the power to investigate and prosecute him.

But Martinelli resigned from the legislative office days after his arrival last June when extradited from the United States, where he had been imprisoned for one year because of Justice's request for the wiretapping case, the argument of his defense to ask for a guarantee that the case will go to an ordinary court.

Martinelli, 66, is being preventively arrested in a minimal security prison on the outskirts of the capital. 


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