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Tuesday, Jan 26, 2021
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Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares

Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares' to be extradited to the US, appeal rejected

The Guatemalan Justice rejected a legal appeal brought by Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares , son of former President of Panama Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), who sought to challenge the court in charge of his extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for money laundering.
A source from the Guatemalan Judicial Branch confirmed to Efe this Monday that the challenge was not endorsed by an appeals chamber, and therefore the case of Martinelli Linares will continue its course in the Fifth Criminal Sentencing Court pending its resolution.

According to the ruling of the First Appeals Chamber, the "arguments" of Martinelli Linares' request were declared "without place" since "they do not fit within the grounds invoked", because "at no time is it evidence that the The actions of the judges within the extradition proceedings cast doubt on their impartiality and that they have expressed an opinion on the matter. "

Therefore, due to the rejection of the challenge, the case of Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares will continue its course in the Fifth Criminal Sentencing Court pending confirmation of his definitive extradition to the United States.

The brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares were arrested in Guatemala on July 6 for an extradition order to the United States, where they are wanted for money laundering.

The lawyer for the Martinelli Linares brothers in Guatemala, Denis Cuesy, told Efe this Monday that he was not aware of the recent legal resolutions because he was out of the country.

Cuesy had stated in December that the extradition process for the brothers is "slow" and "will take a long time."

The North American country made the extradition request official on September 4, but the sons of former President Martinelli have filed several legal appeals before the Guatemalan Judicial Organism to try to prevent their transfer to the United States.

Both are accused by the US of intermediating between 2009 and 2014 in the payment of 28 million dollars by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht to a former high-ranking Panamanian official, according to the US Department of Justice.

The two brothers were elected as alternate deputies of the Central American Parliament in May 2019 by Panama and have argued that they have immunity from the regional body, although they were never sworn in.

According to the indictment of a New York court, between 2009 and 2014, during their father's presidency, the Martinelli Linares brothers participated in the Odebrecht plot with actions that included "the opening and administration of secret bank accounts in the name of shell companies in foreign jurisdictions".

The children of the former Panamanian president are in the prison of the Mariscal Zavala military barracks, in Guatemala City.

Ricardo Alberto, 40, and Luis Enrique, 38, were preparing to leave Guatemala on a private flight on July 6 when they were captured at the request of the US, after about a year missing.
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