President Ricardo Martinelli greets and shouts "Viva Panama" from El Renacer prison

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  • Mon, 06/11/2018 - 14:29
Ricardo Martinelli
  • Credit- EFE

"Viva Panama," shouted the former president, waving his arms with an animated attitude when he was taken to the kind of chalet where he will be held in El Renacer prison, the same prison where the former Panamanian ex-dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega (1934-2017) was.

The 3 lawyers of Ricardo Martinelli heard on the radio of the El Renacer prison guards that they should not be allowed to pass. Then came members of the national police who were the ones who allowed the passage to the lawyers, who until now have not been able to have physical access to see him since he arrived in Panama. The former first lady and wife of the former president, along with his daughter and the personal doctor waited at the prison door also to gain access.

In the photo, former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli today, June 11, 2018, resigns from his imprisonment in El Renacer prison, near the capital city of Panama City (Panama). His lawyers denounced the violation of his rights. Martinelli was delivered this morning by the US authorities to Panama in an operation marked by the total lack of communication to his lawyers and relatives of the authorities. Photo - EFE / Peppo Palomino Aragón

Lawyer Sydney Sittón told Acan-Efe that Martinelli only had his blood pressure checked when he arrived in the country, when, he said, the US Department of State. He stated that he should undergo a thorough review given his cardiac condition. "They violate their rights, Martinelli has no defense today," said another of his lawyers, Carlos Carrillo, when he complained that they were being prevented from entering El Renacer to interview their client. Both Sitton and Carrillo finally entered the prison, but it is not clear at this time whether they had access to the former president. To prison El Renacer also arrived Martinelli's wife, the former first lady Marta Linares, and her daughter, who also went to jail. Sitton told Acan-Efe that "in a maximum of 48 hours" Martinelli "should be taken to the Supreme Court" for a legality control hearing. In that hearing should be the full magistrates, who will listen to the parties and decide on precautionary measures for Martinelli, have explained lawyers consulted by Acan-Efe. It is expected that in that hearing Martinelli's defense appeals to his chronic health conditions to request a precautionary measure other than preventive detention, a request that the prosecutor will maintain, according to the analysis of local jurists. The former president, 66, was taken to jail after being subjected to "a general medical evaluation by qualified professionals," the Ministry of Public Security previously reported, without further details. "They took the pressure in a hangar" from the international airport of Tocumen, the former first lady told reporters outside the Santo Tomas Hospital, where it was presumed that Martinelli would be taken for the medical examination.

Hours earlier, the Foreign Ministry reported that the US Government "He made formal delivery in Panamanian territory" of Martinelli "today at 8:44 am (13:44 GMT)". It was expected that the private flight that brought from Miami (US) to the former president arrived at the Panama Pacifico airport, but at the last minute he deviated and landed on an old runway at Tocumen International Airport, according to local media. Groups attached to the ex-leader protested peacefully at the headquarters of the Supreme Court to demand "their release and respect for their human rights." The former president must confront the crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and the right to privacy, and against the public administration and its different forms of embezzlement, according to the accusation presented by the fiscal magistrate of the case, Harry Díaz, in October 2015 , which implies up to 21 years in prison. "Mr. Martinelli is coming for the two crimes that he is accused of being: illegal wiretapping and embezzlement," said Vice Chancellor of Panama, Luis Miguel Hincapié, on Monday. The US Department of State approved his extradition under the specialty rule provided for in a bilateral treaty in force since 1905, which means that the former head of state will only be tried in his country for the case of wiretapping, a of about 10 criminal cases that the Supreme Court has opened.
Martinelli arrived in Panama after spending a year in a federal prison in the US because of the extradition request. ACAN-EFE

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