March 8, 2021

Correct the date to resume Martinelli's trial in Panama on April 5

Correct the date to resume Martinelli's trial in Panama on April 5

The Court of the oral trial of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) for alleged political espionage and embezzlement resolved on Thursday that the process will resume on April 5 and not 8 as it had ruled on Wednesday of this week, the Organ said. Judicial (OJ).

The recess until April 8 was for the parties to spend 7 days to study seven booklets where they are transcribed the alleged illegal eavesdropping that is accused of ex-governor and allegedly occurred from 2012 to 2014.

The Prosecutor's Office finished yesterday with its documentary evidence and the Court decreed that the 7 days would begin to be computed from March 28 until April 5, and the hearing would resume next Monday, April 8.

The Court had ruled that the defense, plaintiffs and the accused could have access to the booklets with relevant information of the alleged illegal wiretapping, for 7 days, and that this time would begin to count after the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) finished presenting your documentary evidence.

However, through the Auto 13 dated today, the Court said that it corrected the date of resumption of the trial for April 5 next.

The decision is based on article 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CPP), which establishes that oral hearing acts can be suspended in a justified manner for a maximum of ten calendar days, not working days.

By reason of this rule, "the days for the revision of the booklets should be counted then, from March 28 and culminate on Saturday, April 6, 2019," the OJ said in a public statement.

"So, in order not to detract from the 7 days granted, nor to exceed the maximum of 10 days, as indicated in Article 372, the hearing will resume on Friday, April 5, pursuant to Article 127 of the CPP, which establishes that the Court of Oral Judgment will be held only in days and working hours, "explained the OJ.

The revision of the booklets has already begun today with the presence of the defendant Martinelli, and takes place in the building of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office that is distant from the place of the oral trial.

At the hearing on Wednesday, which started again one hour late because Martinelli suffered a rise in tension, the Prosecutor's Office finished presenting all the documentary evidence collected against the ex-governor.

The trial of Martinelli for allegedly spying on dozens of political opponents between 2012 and 2014 began on March 12 but was suspended due to the alleged depression suffered by the ex-ruler and, according to his lawyers, prevented him from facing the trial.

Martinelli, who fled Panama in 2015 and alleges that he is the victim of political persecution by his successor and former ally, Juan Carlos Varela, has been in preventive detention since last June in a minimum security prison on the banks of the Panama Canal.

Previously, he was detained for another year in the USA. while battling against the extradition request of the Justice of Panama.

This is an unprecedented trial, since Martinelli is the first former president of the democratic era to be prosecuted for four crimes totaling 21 years in prison.


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