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Panama - Electoral Tribunal removes Martinelli shield

Panama - Electoral Tribunal removes Martinelli shield

The Second Administrative Court of the Electoral Tribunal decided Thursday, February 24, to lift the electoral criminal jurisdiction of former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli.

The request was made on February 2 by the Third Criminal Court Liquidator, where the New Business Case is being handled. Martinelli's defense in yet another stalling move, announced that it will appeal the measure.

The hearing of the New Business Case was suspended on January 28 when the former president presented a certification from the Electoral Tribunal confirming that he enjoyed electoral criminal jurisdiction.

Martinelli's lawyers will have two business days to present the appeal before the Electoral Court.

The plenary session of the court will decide whether or not to uphold the decision of the Second Administrative Court.

The New Business Case


The case involves the acquisition of a media company that publishes Panama America and La Critica with funds allegedly diverted from Government projects by members of Martinelli's inner circle .

Within the investigations of the case, the Public Ministry found bank information that details the use of an offshore bank account to receive and group money, whose origin was related to activities related to crimes against the Public Administration. 'In order to hide the alleged illicit origin of the money, a group of companies was acquired, including the media,' the ministry said. And he adds: 'In this financial operation, it was possible to identify money from the State that was entered, in an unusual way, into the financial system, to later distribute it among other natural and legal persons that were finally grouped together to integrate the money from the purchase of those companies. '

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