Thursday 25th May 2023.

May 25, 2023


Between December 15 and 29, 2010, when the purchase of Editora Panamá América, S.A. (Epasa) was made, the bank account in the name of the New Business company received the sum of $43.9 million, “far exceeding its transaction profile declared at the time of account opening.”

This is stated in the 162-page appeal to trial of October 2022, whose reading was completed on the morning of this Wednesday, May 24, on the second day of the trial of 15 people accused of alleged money laundering, linked to the purchase of Epasa with supposedly public funds.

Through the complex laundering scheme, $43.9 million was moved, of which $2.9 million in Epasa shares had been recovered until 2019.

At noon, the reading of the mixed order of appeal to trial and the order of appeal to trial of former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), who in the investigation has been identified as the main shareholder of Epasa, ended. At that time, the second judge liquidating criminal cases Baloisa Marquínez declared a recess until 2:00 p.m. The hearing resumed punctually, at that time.

Carlos Carrillo, Martinelli’s lawyer, wanted a recess declared until Thursday, May 25, which the judge opposed. Carrillo also demanded to know the penalty agreements, which appear as documentary evidence in this process. Prosecutor Emeldo Márquez acknowledged that not all the information is in the file, since there is content that is only in the files of Gabriel Gaby Btesh and Ricardo Chanis. The judge ordered that all of that be disclosed.

Before the start of the day on Wednesday, Carrillo complained that, despite the fact that Martinelli’s main lawyer, Luis Eduardo Camacho Gonzáles, has covid-19 and that “my client, it is public that he was operated”, even so the judicial act has not been suspended.

Carrillo denied that delaying tactics are being applied. “No one is going to limit me as a lawyer from exercising law and acting,” he said.

A lawyer tries to remove the judge from the New Business case, for an alleged relationship of 17 years ago

The event takes place at the Gil Ponce Palace, headquarters of the Supreme Court of Justice and whose security measures were reinforced.

It should be noted that the trial is broadcast live through the digital YouTube platform of the Judicial Branch and broadcast on the website of La Prensa.

The clinical summary prepared by Dr. Julio Sandoval, head of intensive care at The Panama Clinic, warns that Ricardo Martinelli should be disabled and in rehabilitation for the next two months, in order to “guarantee the highest success rate of surgery.”

That medical report was presented by Martinelli’s defense on Tuesday, May 23, on the first day of the trial that follows him for alleged money laundering, in the case called New Business.

In fact, Martinelli has not been seen by the court, claiming incapacity.

That 60-day incapacity coincides with the primaries of his party Realizing Goals (RM).

On June 4, it is the presidential primary of RM, where he competes with 3 other candidates, one of whom (David Ochy) is also indicted for the New Business case. And on July 2, there is another primary in RM, this time to elect candidates for other elected positions: deputies, mayors and representatives.

The document signed by Dr. Sandoval also says that he must “avoid stressful situations” because in his hospital stay he has presented “lability in blood pressure levels and heart rhythms.” In addition, it needs rehabilitation to strengthen the muscles of the inner limbs, requires using a lumbar corset and doing exercises for walking and balance.

The Social Security Fund (CSS) confirmed on the afternoon of this Wednesday, May 24, the loss of 312 ampoules of dexketoprofen of 25 mg / ml, a drug for pain, during the weekend of May 20 in the medicine warehouse of the emergency room of the Dr. Manuel Ferrer Valdés polyclinic, located in the corregimiento of Calidonia, Panama City.

Given the situation, the medical director of the Carmen Guardia polyclinic, formally presented the criminal complaint to the Public Ministry on Monday, May 22, so that the rigorous investigations can be carried out to determine the circumstances in which the events occurred and the people who could be involved.

The CSS through a press release reported that at the same time the General Directorate of the entity requested an administrative audit as determined by the Organic Law.

In addition, the authorities of the CSS reported that they will refrain from issuing judgments of any kind that could hinder the investigations that are demanded in this fact.

The loss of the 312 ampoules of dexketoprofen is the second known investigation carried out by the CSS and authorities of the Public Ministry. The first is the loss of fentanyl blisters.

Criminals entered the morning of this Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at the Banistmo bank branch, located on the Transisthmian highway.

There, they stripped the security personnel of their firearm and assaulted several bank employees, to steal about $ 12,<>, it has been reported. This, in the presence of the other workers and several customers.

The senior prosecutor of primary care, Julio Villarreal, explained that the criminals were armed, and that some wore masks and others masks, as has been observed through security cameras.

Villarreal added that the stolen money came from two boxes in this bank branch.

The National Police reported that they are still in strong operations to find those responsible for this event. Later the entity announced the location of a vehicle (red), in the Transistmica, and that possibly is related to this case.

Staff from the Primary Care Section of the Metropolitan Prosecutor’s Office carried out several steps at the scene to gather more evidence.

What was expected to be a second call to give the opportunity for more players in the telecommunications industry to come to bid for the concession for mobile telephony operated by Digicel, ended with only one company interested.

The only proponent was the company General Internacional Telecom Panamá, S.A. (Gitpan), which had also presented itself in the first call last March.

Given the participation of a single company interested in the tender, the administrator of the Public Services Authority, Armando Fuentes Rodríguez, explained that the evaluation commission will review the documentation provided again and later the Cabinet Council will be asked for approval to directly negotiate the concession contract.

“Once the final review stage is consolidated, ASEP will be fully authorized to request approval from the Cabinet Council to directly negotiate the concession contract with the sole bidder, including approval with the new company to address issues related to the cost of spectrum, defined by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. duly authorized by the Cabinet Council; and, the value of certain assets of Digicel (Panamá), S.A.”, said the administrator of ASEP.

It is estimated that once the authorization of the Cabinet Council is obtained, the process of direct negotiation between ASEP and the Gitpan company will last two months.

The country faces one of the most pressing environmental challenges: ordering and planning several of its regions, to avoid conflicts in potential land use and forest destruction and degradation.

In fact, the Tourism Authority of Panama is currently carrying out a process of preparing land use plans in six districts, within which there are several protected areas.

These regions are the districts of Bocas del Toro, in Bocas del Toro; Boquete and Tierras Altas, in Chiriquí; Pedasí, in Los Santos; Soná, in Veraguas and Taboga, in Panama. These are areas that have grown with limited planning, but have great ecological and tourist value.

While these plans are being prepared, the Ministry of the Environment, in parallel, is carrying out a strategic environmental assessment process, which is nothing more than an instrument that contemplates environmental conservation and sustainable development, within the territorial planning plans.

That is, what an environmental impact study is for a project or certain construction work, strategic environmental assessment is applied at a higher level in policies, plans and programs. The purpose is the same: to take care of the environment.



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