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Preliminary hearing in the Lava Jato case in Panama is postponed until March 2022

Preliminary hearing in the Lava Jato case in Panama is postponed until March 2022

The Lava Jato investigation in Panama seeks to clarify whether there was money laundering through public limited companies created by the firm Mossack Fonseca.

The preliminary hearing of 42 people accused of the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering in the Lava Jato case in Panama scheduled for this June 1 was postponed minutes after it began.

The hearing was suspended due to the absence of defense attorneys, Superior Prosecutor Isis Soto reported.

Prosecutor Soto said that the alternate date for this hearing will be from March 20 to April 7, 2022, and a call for trial will be requested for 33 people accused of money laundering.

" We were going to support our prosecutorial hearing, we were going to request a trial against 33 defendants, however, due to the absence of two lawyers who were fined, also two lawyers who presented disabilities, the hearing has been suspended," said prosecutor Soto.

He indicated that in today's hearing the dismissal of 8 people would also be requested.

" This is an investigation that began in 2016 as a result of news events that was linked to the Lava Jato operation in Brazil linked to a lawyer's office in Panama that provided financial legal structures to conceal money from illegal activities," the prosecutor said.

The hearing of the Lava Jato case was scheduled to begin on January 6, 2021, however, it could not be held due to the suspension of judicial terms decreed in Panama and Panama Oeste, due to the quarantine due to the covid-19 pandemic.

At around 7:00 am today a truck from the Judicial Branch arrived at the Balboa Theater premises to unload a large number of documents and folders in the Lava Jato case, the file of which consists of 275 volumes.


Truck of the Judicial Branch with a large number of documents and folders from the Lava Jato case.

Among the people charged in that case in Panama are Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca Mora, from the defunct Mossack Fonseca law firm.

The Lava Jato investigation in Panama seeks to clarify whether there was money laundering through public limited companies created by the law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Ramón Fonseca Mora said that the sale of corporations is not a crime and the process is political.

“ We were a law firm like any other Panamanian law firm exercising the same law without committing any illegality. They took it with us to destroy the Panamanian banking system and service system, ”said Ramón Fonseca Mora.

" In the end there is no justification, there is nothing I can swear to you, that I am struck by lightning if there is something against us, " he said.


Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca Mora upon their arrival at the Balboa Theater for the preliminary hearing in the Lava Jato case.

For his part, Jürgen Mossack stated that "we formed companies as our main activity, not only Panamanian companies, companies in other jurisdictions as well."

Guillermina McDonald, lawyer for Mossack Fonseca, stated that the Judge was expected to hear the arguments and the actions that would be presented.

"Our thesis is that no type of money laundering has been committed, none of the phases of money laundering has been committed in accordance with the phases indicated by the FATF," said McDonald.
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