The Supreme Court of Justice announced Friday that the indictment hearing against former President Ricardo Martinelli was set for June 25. Martinelli is currently detained, to stand trial for alleged wiretapping, according to the Judicial Branch (OJ).
This hearing, requested by Attorney Harry Díaz, "would continue the proceeding opened on December 11, 2015, where the statute of limitations for the criminal action was suspended, after declaring the accused in absentia," says a statement released by the Judicial Branch.
The indictment hearing against Martinelli is framed within the case of alleged commission of crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and against public administration.
This hearing will be held in the courtroom of the Second Supreme Court of Justice of the Panamanian Supreme Court, which must prosecute Martinelli given his status as a deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).
Martinelli arrived on Monday extradited by the US to face a case of illegal wiretapping during his term (2009-2014) that involves 4 offenses punishable with up to 21 years in prison, according to the indictment.
The former president was taken to El Renacer, the minimum security prison where former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega was held (1934-2017), because of the provisional detention as a personal precautionary measure issued in December 2015 by the plenary of the Supreme Court, said on Monday the presiding judge of the case, Jerónimo Mejía, during a "hearing of notification of rights".
After that hearing, Martinelli, 66, was taken to the Santo Tomás public hospital for a medical examination due to a hypertensive crisis.
The former president returned to El Renacer prison Thursday, after being discharged from Santo Tomás hospital because of his stable condition.
The Supreme Court of Panama will hold a hearing next Tuesday to consider a defense request in favor of Martinelli to change the preventive detention measure to a less severe measure.