Saturday, October 31, 2020

Two former Panama presidents face corruption charges

-

Panama’s last two presidents, Ricardo Martinelli and Juan Carlos Varela, faced questions from prosecutors Thursday, each on charges of corruption and money laundering.

Prosecutors have charged Martinelli with corruption over the so-called “New Business” case in which a publishing group was allegedly purchased with public money during his 2009-14 term.

Martinelli, 68, was in a combative mood when he arrived at the public prosecutor’s office in Panama City.

“They are violating the law, they are violating the Constitution and international treaties. I hope they will do me justice,” the former president told journalists.

- Advertisement -

“They are fabricating these cases against me. It really is a political persecution.”

Martinelli was held in pre-trial detention for two years after he was extradited from the United States to face trial for spying on his political foes. He was acquitted on those charges in 2019.

Varela, 56, meanwhile arrived at the special anti-corruption prosecutor’s office to be questioned about alleged illegal donations to his political campaigns from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

“I have come to comply with the subpoena from the public prosecutor’s office and to answer any questions they may have,” said Varela, who left office last year.

- Advertisement -

Varela was previously questioned on Monday.

The appearance of the two former presidents “could mean, if there is any optimism, that… no one is above the law,” Carlos Barsallo, head of the Panamanian office of Transparency International, told AFP.

But “being realistic and prudent and based on previous experiences, we have to wait and see real and definitive results because, in Panama, the perception of impunity has prevailed,” he said.

Martinelli won the 2009 election with Varela as his running mate, but their alliance broke down in 2011 when Varela was sacked as foreign minister. Since then, the two former political allies have become enemies.

MUST READ

Actress Lori Loughlin begins 2-month prison sentence for role in college admissions scam

Actress Lori Loughlin reported to a federal prison in Northern California on Friday to start a two-month sentence for her role in a massive...

FirstEnergy fires CEO, other executives over Ohio bribery scandal

FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO amid multiple federal investigations related to an Ohio nuclear bailout law passed year. The Akron-based utility company announced in a...

Ukraine’s court strips critical power from anti-corruption agency

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has stripped the country’s anti-corruption agency of some of its critical powers. The high court’s ruling published on October 28 declared it...

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sent back to prison for 17 years in corruption case

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was ordered back to prison on Thursday (Oct 29) as the country's Supreme Court upheld a 17-year jail...

Nigerian court declines to issue international arrest warrant for fugitive ex-Petroleum Minister in corruption case

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an arrest...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Former Columbus mayor Eisenga charged with bank fraud

A former Columbus mayor and businessman who was once at the center of a controversial bill aimed at reducing child support payments for wealthy...

Actress Felicity Huffman complete full sentence for role in college admissions scam

Felicity Huffman has completed her full sentence for her involvement in the college admissions scandal. As of Sunday, she has finished her sentence, which included jail...

Actress Lori Loughlin begins 2-month prison sentence for role in college admissions scam

Actress Lori Loughlin reported to a federal prison in Northern California on Friday to start a two-month sentence for her role in a massive...

Malta’s regulator fines Lombard Bank $397,000 over money laundering breaches

Lombard Bank has been fined €340,058 for breaching anti-money laundering obligations by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. The breaches were identified by the FIAU in...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks