May 16, 2021

The investigation of the Odebrecht case in Panama with 80 percent progress

The investigation of the Odebrecht case in Panama with 80 percent progress



The progress of the investigation into the case of the payment of bribes by the Brazilian company Odebrecht is an advance of 80 percent and could end in the first three months of 2019, the Public Ministry of Panama (MP) reported today.

As a result of the investigation, which began at the end of 2016 and reaches 628 volumes, there are 76 defendants, it has recovered 255.123.484.60 dollars, achieved 5 convictions and received international cooperation from 23 jurisdictions, journalists told the anti-corruption prosecutors Zuleyka Moore, Vielka Broce, Ruth Morcillo and Tania Sterling.

Those of Mauricio Cort, recent; Jorge Espino; Olmedo Méndez; José Luis Saiz; and Gabriel Alvarado Far, according to the report.

"The exchange of information has allowed us to go a long way in determining the scope of this corruption scheme in the Odebrecht case," Moore said.

Of the amount of money recovered, $ 227,692,212.94 was achieved through penalty agreements; 13,967,683.33 dollars in movable and immovable property; and $ 13,463,585.33 in bank accounts that were located in banks in Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, and Switzerland.

In the period 2006 to 2014, Odebrecht would have paid bribes for 100 million dollars, according to the report of the Prosecutors, who also gave details of the so-called "box 2" through which the illegal payments were given.

Moore said that it is expected to recover 357 million dollars in assets, while noting that the investigations reach the period of 2006-2009 in which bribes were paid to officials for 5 million dollars; 2009-2014 with payment of bribes for 96 million; while in the 2014-2019 period Odebrecht projects such as Line 2 of the Metro, Renovación de Colón, Renovation of public spaces, Tocumen Airport and rural access roads are investigated.

As for the period 2006-2009, which reaches a part of the mandate of Martín Torrijos (2004-2009), the prosecutors did not identify the officials involved, although they said that they will be known when they are going to file an inquiry.

"We have identified the period 2006-2009 the route that followed the money to legal entities mentioned, then to senior officials, we have identified them, but we have to comply with the formalities of law," said Moore,

"We are respectful of the Electoral Criminal Law and above all of the presumption of innocence," remarked the Prosecutor.

The Panamanian Justice last December validated the agreement reached between the Prosecutor's Office and Odebrecht, which includes the payment of a fine of 220 million and the file of the case in Panama against the company and its former directors in the country for having collaborated in the investigations.

During the hearing to validate the agreement, the MP revealed that André Rabello, who led the Odebrecht operations in Panama for several years, confessed to having paid more than 80 million dollars to Panamanian officials and individuals, of which 55.8 million were in the brothers Luis and Ricardo Martinelli-Linares, sons of former president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), who will be tried on December 11 for alleged illegal listening.

The two sons of former President Martinelli were arrested in Miami, USA. on November 20 for immigration reasons, as reported in Washington.

The anti-corruption prosecutors said today that the extradition process of the two Martinelli brothers is in the hands of the governments of Panama and the United States, after being requested by Panama.

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