Court of Appeals annuls Ricardo Martinelli's 'not guilty' verdict, orders new trial
On the Friday afternoon, November 20, the Superior Court of Appeals of Panama, by majority (2 votes in favor and one against) accepted the Appeal for Annulment presented in the case of telephone punctures brought against former President Ricardo Martinelli, and ordered a new trial at the request of plaintiff lawyers and the Public Ministry.
The decision annuls the verdict reached unanimously by the judges of the Oral Court, Roberto Tejeira, Arleen Caballero and Raúl Vergara, given on August 9, 2019, who at that time pointed out that the Public Ministry failed to prove their theory of the case and reasonable doubts arise and indicated that the fundamental principles of due process were violated after analyzing the testimonies presented during the oral trial that lasted almost five months.
On October 15 of this year, an appeal hearing was held on the annulment of the sentence that declared the former president of the Republic not guilty.
In this hearing, which was held virtually, both the plaintiffs and the Prosecutor's Office argued why the trial in which Martinelli was declared not guilty should be declared null, but that day a recess was decreed until this November 20, to issue the sentence known today on the annulment appeal.
The lawyer, Carlos Herrera Morán, one of the plaintiffs for the alleged punctures carried out by the former president, unofficially informed RPC Radio that magistrates Yiles Pittí and Donaji Arosemena voted in favor of the annulment and a new trial; while the magistrate Diego Fernández, saved his vote.