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Panama: trial begins against former president Martinelli for alleged money laundering in purchase of newspapers

The trial against former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) and 19 other people, in a process of alleged money laundering in the purchase of the Panamanian newspapers El Panamá América, Crítica and Día a Día, of Editora el Panamá América (Epasa), yesterday in a court in the Panamanian capital.

The case, known as New Business, is one of the processes on alleged corruption with which the former president, who aspires to become president again in the Panamanian general elections of May 2024, is related to the new Realizando Metas (RM) movement.

The hearing will consider whether public funds were diverted for the irregular purchase of Epasa through national and international transactions and after collecting 43.9 million dollars in a bank account belonging to the company New Business Services Limited.

Ricardo Martinelli. (Photo internet reproduction)
Ricardo Martinelli. (Photo internet reproduction)

Martinelli’s defense insisted this afternoon, through attorney Alfredo Vallarino, on receiving a motion for reconsideration for the suspension of the hearing, due to the absence of his client and the fact that he allegedly underwent emergency surgery for a herniated vertebrae that prevented him from being present.

After hearing the position against Vallarino’s request by prosecutor Emeldo Márquez, Judge Baloisa Marquínez explained that the motion for reconsideration is not admissible in the criminal part and therefore denied Vallarino’s request.

Earlier, another lawyer of Martinelli had also requested the suspension of the hearing, arguing as an alleged impediment the health problems of the former governor, to which the judge had said that it was impossible to accede at this stage of the process.

During the day, progress was made in reading the writ of summons to trial, after which the process is expected to continue tomorrow.

Panama news, English news Panama, President Martinelli trial, 

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