Five hours after the first homologation hearing, held in the Twelth Circuit Court under Oscar Carrasquilla, the Prosecutor's Office undertook not to open new inquiries against André Campos Rabello and the construction company Odebrecht, which must also pay a $ 220 million fine to the Panamanian State. Based on agreement number two of the Odebrecht case, Special Anticorruption Prosecutor Zuleyka Moore also accused the sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli of allegedly leading a network destined to collect bribes between 2009 and 2014.
During the defence, based on documents and information provided by the Brazilian company and Rabello (Odebrecht’s main representative in Panama) as part of the effective partnership agreement, members of Martinelli’s government were included as beneficiaries of the bribes: Frank De Lima, Demetrio Papadimitriu and Jaime Ford. The former presidential candidate for Cambio Democrático, in 2014, José Domingo Arias is also one of those accused by Prosecutor Moore.
Names such as Riccardo Francolini, member of the Board of Directors of the Savings Bank between 2009 and 2014; Carlos Ho, former director of Special Projects of the Ministry of Public Works (MOP), were mentioned by the representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The list is even longer. It includes the Rosas y Rosas firm, which belongs to deputy Jorge Alberto Rosas, and the former Consul of Panama in South Korea, Jaime Lasso del Castillo, both of the Panameñista party.
President Varela’s statements
Earlier Panamanian head of state displayed his stand regarding Odebrecht “my campaign did not receive a direct contribution from the Odebrecht company. The party released a statement on the role played by a person who had a direct relationship with this company, explaining the whole role that person played in political and social support to the campaign of the Panameñista party.” Varela also assured that the tenders under his administration have followed the legal channels “we have tendered $ 10 billion in projects, that company does not even have 1.5% of what we have tendered”.
Comunicado. pic.twitter.com/pGIH7Cxjff— Panameñistas (@panamenistas) 1 de noviembre de 2017
Lasso received the money for Varela’s campaign
The former Consul of Panama in South Korea, Jaime Lasso, met Odebrecht’s chief executive on the Isthmus, André Campos Rabello, in 2009. Lasso confirmed that the Panameñista party received at least $ 700,000 that year for the electoral campaign. The money would have been received through five contributions made to the account of the Don James Foundation in the United States.
To see the document with his full statement, click here ( Spanish) - https://www.docdroid.net/uoy24gh/declaracion-y-ampliacion-jaime-lasso.pdf
The alleged bribes
The Brazilian construction company Odebrecht would have been paid more than $ 50 million in alleged bribes according to the support provided by the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor, Zuleyka Moore. The accusation was vouched for by defense lawyer Samuel Quintero, representing André Campos Rabello in Panama and the defendant himself who communicated via Skype from the Consulate of Panama in Brazil.
Audiencia Nº1 de Homologación Caso Odebrecht https://t.co/OHrKroBVuv— Ministerio Público (@PGN_PANAMA) 9 de noviembre de 2017
The Panamanian lawyer, Sidney Sittón, believes that the Public Ministry has manipulated the investigation because the Odebrecht company arrived in Panama since 2006, during the administration of Martín Torrijos, and the current Panamanian president, Juan Carlos Varela, “has admitted receiving funds”. Sittón adds that “the Attorney General covers for President Varela and his acolytes in the Odebrecht scandal. It has not been said either, for example, that Rabello holds 1% of the shares of the construction company”.
Magistrado Hernán De León una pregunta fácil de responder: ¿Por qué no admite, como ponente, la compulsa de copias que le mandaron las fiscalas anticorrupción contra el diputado de gobierno, Jorge Alberto Rosas, quien recibió más de 3 millones en sobornos de odebrecht #Panamá ?— Sidney Sittón (@sidneysittonU) 9 de noviembre de 2017