The hearing to be held on Thursday, following the medical emergency presented by the former president was postponed until Monday, November 26, according to local media reports. Ricardo Martinelli was taken on Wednesday night to the Santo Tomás Hospital and then transferred, again, to El Renacer prison, where he received medical incapacity until midnight on Friday, November 23.
After learning about the suspension of the hearing due to the health problems of former President Martinelli, Balbina Herrera, victim of the alleged illegal wiretapping, said that "he requested to be sent to a private clinic. The problems is that no one deprived of liberty can go to go to a private clinic, he has to go to the Hospital Santo Tomás ", she also considered that it was not a serious situation because Martinelli wanted to continue the hearing.
His defense lawyer, Carlos Carrillo, spoke about this matter: "even though he took the high blood pressure, the pressure had a spike. Now there is an official report of the Judicial Body about what happened. Magistrate Mejía talked to him and Martinelli said that he wanted to continue the hearing if he had to go to Santo Tomás. After that for his health's sake, the defense, the paramedics and the corresponding personnel asked the magistrate, and he confirmed that he was transferred as requested by 911. "
Regarding the admission of proofs, Herrera said that, "most of our proofs have been approved. If I were on (Ricardo Martinelli) his lawyer's team I would also be worried, they are losing most of the evidence. "
Carrillo said they will make the allegations as they should "the debate is going to happen about the rejected testimonies and the documentary evidence that supported those testimonies".
The Panamanian ex president Ricardo Martinelli said today that he and his family are victims of a "psychopathic turtle," in reference to the current president, Juan Carlos Varela, and said that "you can expect everything" from his successor in office.
"The only thing that (President Juan Carlos Varela) is dedicated to do is to persecute me, my family and all members of Cambio Democrático (the party that Martinelli founded.) To this psychopathic turtle at some point will fall all the weight of the law ", shouted the former president before entering the courtroom where the hearing resumed on Wednesday in the context of a case against him.
Martinelli, who usually refers to Varela as "turtle", made these statements hours after the retention in Miami (USA) of his sons Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares was known, by the American immigration authorities in Miami, ICE, where they were transported to the immigration detention center, Krome in Homestead awaiting to be presented in front on an judge on Monday.
"We can expect everything from the psychopathic turtle, this man is destroying Panama instead of working for the needy to improve education, health or transportation," the ex-president added as several agents introduced him in handcuffs in the courtroom.
The Panamanian lawyer Franklin Amaya assured EFE that "as a defense of Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares we were surprised today because we have learned through the media about the retention of our clients."
He added that they are trying to "establish a channel of communication with them, to then evaluate what legal actions to take for the benefit of their interests."
"For now we do not know for sure, exactly, the reason for the retention of the Martinelli Linares brothers, we are waiting, I repeat, for formal information, we have learned from the media more than anything, not from a request of judicial or legal authority, "remarked the lawyer.
The Government of Panama had requested the United States last June. the extradition of the Martinelli brothers to answer for an alleged case of bribes from the Brazilian multinational Odebrecht. Their visa in the United States was revoked in 2017 as explained by the ICE spokesperson and although they entered the country legally, once revoked they were in an illegal state.
The lawyer Amaya clarified that the brothers Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli "at all times have faced the processes that have unfairly raised in Panama through their lawyers, who have presented the evidence that refutes the alleged evidence that the State has against them "
Even so, Amaya complained about the fact that as lawyers they have had "many restrictions" in Panama "to obtain complete information about these processes, the charges and the alleged evidence that is said to be against them."
Interpol Washington informed its Panamanian counterparts that the arrest of Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, "responds to the alleged violation of immigration laws," the Foreign Ministry reported today.
Interpol Washington sent an official note to its peers from Panama, of which the Foreign Ministry was informed, in which it added that the Martinelli brothers "are in the custody of the Department of National Security" of the United States.
"So far the US authorities have not informed us that there is a connection between our extradition request" of the Martinelli brothers for the Odebrecht case, "and the arrest made yesterday," the official letter said.
The Panamanian Foreign Ministry recalled that "it presented the formalization of the extradition request of the Martinelli Linares brothers on May 14, 2018."