Friday 9th June 2023.

June 8, 2023


Ricardo Martinelli ‘s legal team filed a criminal complaint against the prosecutor who, a week ago, requested the maximum penalty for the former president for alleged money laundering, during the final stretch of the trial of the New Business case.

This is the specialized prosecutor against organized crime, Emeldo Márquez. The complaint also reaches businessman Henry Mizrchi, whom Martinelli’s lawyer, Roniel Ortíz, identifies as the “protected witness” in the New Business case.

Both are accused of the alleged commission of the crime of falsehood and illicit association to commit a crime.

Ortíz filed the complaint this Thursday, June 8, in the company of Jessica Canto and Shirley Castañedas, two inseparable lawyers from Martinelli.

In it, it is alleged that Márquez and the second liquidating judge, Baloisa Marquinez, allowed Mizrachi to travel abroad in 2020, despite the fact that he supposedly has the precautionary measure preventing him from leaving the country.

According to Ortíz, the prosecutor and the judge have taken actions to have allowed Mizrachi not to attend the New Business trial, which was held from May 23 to June 2, and in which the main defendant is Martinelli.

Throughout the process, Martinelli’s defense tried to separate Judge Marquinez from this case. On the first day of the hearing, for example, Oliver Quiel Miranda appeared, claiming that he had a power of attorney to act as Martinelli’s substitute attorney. Quiel asked her to separate the judge from the case, claiming to have had a sentimental relationship with her. The judge denied that request and the case moved forward. Previously, a challenge was also filed against the judge, which was also dismissed.

On June 2, Marquínez announced that she is taking advantage of the 30-day period granted by law to communicate her decision. The Public Ministry requested the maximum sentence for 13 people, including Martinelli, as well as an acquittal for two defendants: Jack Btesh Hazan and his son Salomón Btesh Btesh.

Prosecutor Márquez, over and over again, assured that the crime of money laundering was proven (there are even already confessions and sentence agreements), through the collection of funds from State contracts, which were deposited in the basket account of the company New Business Services, in Global Bank. This money was used to buy the shares of Editora Panamá América, SA (Epasa), when Martinelli was in power.

The New Business basket account recorded deposits for $43.9 million in the last 15 days of 2010.

The payment of $178.2 million in bribes during the government of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) is the conclusion reached by the Central Operative Unit (UCO) of the Spanish Civil Guard, as announced this Thursday, June 8, 2023. , in the Spanish digital newspaper El Confidencial .

The report was prepared at the request of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor of Spain and forwarded to the Central Court of Instruction No. 2 of the National Court, within the case that, due to alleged corruption and money laundering, the construction company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas is being followed (FCC) for the works awarded to it in Panama, during that period.

The UCO Money Laundering Group details the works for which Martinelli and his zero circle demanded the payment of a percentage for each contract awarded during his government.

According to the report, to which La Prensa has obtained access , the millionaire sum came from overprices charged for the awarded works, as well as from inflating the prices of the steel used for Line 1 of the Metro , a work that the Brazilian Odebrecht built in a consortium with FCC.

Substantial funds that reached community boards in the municipality of Chame, West Panama, through parallel decentralization, would be managed by the area representative José María Junior Herrera , from the Cambio Democrático (CD) party.

This was revealed this Thursday, by the mayor of Chame, Abdul Juliao, in the Cuarto Poder program , which is broadcast by Telemetro .

The official denounced that while the resources of his municipality are not enough to meet the needs of the community, the deputy Herrera receives “millions” through the communal boards that he controls.

Among the privileged community boards with the money from parallel decentralization, is that of Bejuco, whose representative Francisco León has received $2 million 70 thousand. The mayor emphasized that this is one of the community boards “that he (Herrera) manages.”

Juliao insisted that the municipality of Chame “by a miracle can pay the bill.” “Next week I have to fire people because the money is not enough to pay the payroll. The government took $2 million from me because of the pandemic and I see these beauties coming out,” he revealed.

He also gave as an example the poor state of the district health center.

He continued pointing out re the deputy: “They have given him a little bit of money and he has not done anything in Chame. He has a chart here. They are people who are going to get paid and do nothing (…) He sponsors parties, carnivals, all these issues he sponsors, but nothing for the people. (…) ”, he recounted.

A complaint for alleged unjustified enrichment by the director of the Social Security Fund (CSS) , Enrique Lau Cortés, was filed this Thursday afternoon at the Comptroller General of the Republic by the lawyer Yasir Del Cid.

Del Cid, who claims to be a member of the Association of Lawyers for Health of Panama, maintains in his complaint that in the CSS “there is irregular management” of the tenders, since on occasions they are awarded to people close to the director Lau Cortés .

He explained that among the actions that are questioned by the company are the award of a contract for the sum of $168 million for the storage and distribution of medicines, for a period of four years.

This contract was awarded to the Consorcio Salud En Control, made up of the companies Intercontinental de Medicamentos, SA de CV and PMG Logistic Corp, although he did not give details of the alleged anomalies in this case.

The complaint also mentions the tender for the award of a contract to develop a system for the assembly of four oxygen-producing plants, which will require an investment of $101.2 million.

This project was presented by the CSS administration on September 22, 2022, but to date it has not been awarded. In this case, Del Cid also did not specify the alleged irregularities.

Del Cid explained that it is necessary for the comptroller to review the actions of Lau Cortés on all the management and allocation of the tenders carried out by that institution.

For his part, Lau Cortés rejected the complaint filed by Del Cid before the Comptroller as reckless and suspicious.

In a personal statement that was distributed this Thursday afternoon to the media, he clarified that everything related to his patrimonial status has been declared, complying with the requirements of the Law.

Lau Cortés also pointed out that it is prudent to warn citizens to remain alert to attacks that may arise from groups interested in diminishing the management for the benefit of the insured.

The National Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States (NOAA, for its acronym in English) declared the presence of the El Niño phenomenon and announced its prolongation during the coming months.

NOAA explained that the consensus of international prediction models indicate, with probabilities greater than 90%, that El Niño will strengthen this year. In addition, the phenomenon will extend during 2024.

“The Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama (Imhpa) has echoed the NOAA statement on the officialization of the presence of El Niño and as the official entity for climatological issues we announce that we are already in the presence of this event,” said. the general director of this entity, Luz Graciela de Calzadilla.

Calzadilla said that since the end of March the Imhpa warned about this phenomenon, and in May, the entity reported that the warming of the waters in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean was affecting the beginning of the rainy season and the behavior of rainfall in Panama.

“In Panama, the presence of El Niño conditions will cause a decrease in rainfall in the regions located on the slope of the Pacific Ocean and increase the number of consecutive days without rain, however, short-term intense rainfall may be recorded,” said the official.

In Panama, the climatic phenomenon is associated with an increase in air temperature and a decrease in relative humidity, consequently, the evapotranspiration process is accelerated and evaporation on the ground.

It must be remembered that the Cabinet Council, in its session on May 30, declared a state of environmental emergency throughout the country in the face of “prolonged drought” as a consequence of the climate crisis that is affecting the world.



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