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Panama requests the extradition of the Martinelli Linares brothers in the Blue Apple case

Panama requests the extradition of the Martinelli Linares brothers in the Blue Apple case

The Third Criminal Liquidation Court of Panama authorized a request to extradite the Martinelli Linares brothers from Guatemala in the Blue Apple case.
The Panamanian Justice requested the extradition of the brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, sons of the former president of Panama Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), imprisoned in the Guatemalan capital for an extradition process to the United States, for their involvement in the Blue Apple the case.

The Third Criminal Liquidation Court of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama authorized a petition to extradite the Martinelli brothers from Guatemala to the Panamanian nation for allegedly being involved in the "Blue Apple" case, accused of economic crimes.

Efe learned that on Thursday the Fourth Pluripersonal Court of Criminal First Instance of Guatemala, chaired by Judge Mayra de León, held a hearing from the Mariscal Zavala prison, where the Martinelli Linares brothers are inmates, to hear the new extradition request .

A prosecutor from the Guatemalan Public Ministry assured Efe, however, that the first request processed in any case has greater weight and, in addition, the accusation for the largest crime also has a greater impact in the case, which, in this case, is the one indicated by the North American country.

Both sons of the former Panamanian ruler have been required by the justice of their country since May 2019, when it was learned that they had left Panama, as they associate them with the bribery payment schemes of the Brazilian firm Odebrecht and the "Blue Apple" scheme. which involves a total of 59 people, including his mother, Marta Linares de Martinelli.

The "Blue Apple" plot, according to the Panama Prosecutor's Office, is related to an embezzlement of more than 78 million dollars and that involves crimes such as money laundering, corruption of public servants, illicit association to commit a crime and falsification of documents.

According to the Panama Prosecutor's Office, between 2009 and 2014 a corruption network operated in the Ministries of Public Works and Housing, where former senior officials allegedly demanded millionaire illegal commissions from various State contractors in exchange for speeding up the administrative procedures of the works they were developing. or in exchange for new contracts.

The Prosecutor's Office, which began investigations in September 2017, seized more than $ 10 million in money and property, and signed five collaboration agreements through which it recovered another $ 25 million.

MORE THAN A YEAR IN PRISON

Luis Enrique, 38, and his older brother, Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares, 40, were arrested in Guatemala on July 6, 2020 at the request of the United States due to the alleged crime of money laundering during the mandate of their father in a corruption case linked to the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

The Martinelli Linares brothers were preparing to leave Guatemala on a private flight at the time when they were captured at the request of the United States, after about a year unaccounted for.

According to the indictment of the District Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the Martinelli Linares are responsible for the crime of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two crimes of concealment of information for that purpose, between 2009 and 2015, for figures of less than one million Dollars.

On July 1, the brothers were located in another sector of the prison where they are located, which is located within a military brigade north of the Guatemalan capital called Mariscal Zavala, because US intelligence and the Guatemalan armed forces discovered a alleged escape plan of both, which did not materialize.

After a month of being isolated in a cell next to the "VIP" area, as the place where high-profile prisoners are held, such as former president Otto Pérez Molina (2012-2015), the Martinelli Linares were moved to another site within the same prison, with extra surveillance by "elite" guards, according to the Guatemalan Penitentiary System.

SOURCE: EFE
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