Martinelli asks to be reviewed as soon as change of his preventive detention

The defense of former President Ricardo Martinelli, arrested in the framework of an investigation for alleged illegal eavesdropping on his mandate, today requested the plenary session of the Panamanian Supreme Court to hold a hearing "as soon as possible" to discuss the change of his preventive detention for other precautionary measures.

Sidney Sitton, defender of Martinelli, told Efe that the request presented to the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) calls for "debate, orally, the review of personal precautionary measures other than pre-trial detention" ordered to the former head of state .

In the document, which Efe had access to, the lawyer Sittón states that "because it concerns freedom and the exceptional nature of preventive detention, the hearing is held as soon as possible."

Sitton told Efe that he estimates that this hearing could take place next week.

Martinelli (2009-2014) was held in El Renacer prison on June 11, the day he was handed over to Panama by the United States authorities, where he was imprisoned for one year because of the request for extradition for the cause of the illegal eavesdropping

The former president, 66, claims to be innocent and a victim of political persecution of the current president of Panama and who was his vice president and chancellor, Juan Carlos Varela, who denies and defends the separation of powers in the country.

On October 7, the intermediate or accusatory stage in the case culminated in the alleged illegal wiretapping of Martinelli, and now the judge of Guarantees must decide whether or not to admit the evidence presented by the parties.

This intermediate stage hearing or accusation began on June 25 and now Judge Jerónimo Mejía, "calmly, prudently, without haste, but without pause", as he himself said, will analyze the arguments of the Office of the Prosecutor, represented by the magistrate Harry Diaz, and the former president's defense team, to decide whether or not there will be a trial.

Díaz asks for 21 years in prison for Martinelli, whom he accuses of 4 criminal types for the interception of telecommunications to dozens of politicians, businessmen and journalist, among others, in the period between 2012 and 2014.


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