Fri. Apr 19th, 2019

Prosecutor denounces threats of former President Martinelli in the hearing

Prosecutor denounces threats of former President Martinelli in the hearing



Ricaurte González, prosecutor in the trial of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) for alleged political espionage and embezzlement, denounced on Thursday alleged threats by the former president and assured that he will not be allowed to "break."

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"The threats, wherever they come from, are not going to break us (...) I'm not going to let anyone come to intimidate us or come to intimidate us because the work we are doing is a work supported by the law and in the Constitution, "González told reporters.

The prosecutor, who asks for 21 years in prison for Martinelli for four crimes, explained that the alleged threats have been "subtle" and that the ex-governor has tried to scare him with the idea that he could return to power: "Life goes around a lot" I would have told him.

"We are in a phase where we have to accuse and we are convinced of what we are doing and this is a risk of the job," Gonzalez said after a hearing in which a court denied parole to the former president.

The trial of Martinelli for allegedly spying on dozens of political opponents between 2012 and 2014 began on March 12 and will resume on Friday, after having been suspended for more than a week for the parties to study the seven booklets where the alleged ones are transcribed. illegal eavesdropping

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 United States while battling the extradition request of the Justice of Panama.

His defense, which has filed a myriad of resources, has requested his release more than once alleging heart problems, but the judges have repeatedly denied it because they consider that their conditions are controllable with medication and that there is a risk of leakage.

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

The trial also takes place during the electoral campaign. Panama will hold general elections on May 5, in which the former president will run as a candidate for deputy and the city hall for the party he founded and which is currently the second parliamentary force, the liberal and opposition Democratic Change (CD).

Panamanian law only prevents a person from presenting himself to a position of popular election if he has been criminally convicted. The candidatures of the exorbitant, however, have been challenged and a court is analyzing them.

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