Wednesday 26th July 2023.

July 25, 2023

The Special Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime appealed the decision to acquit 10 defendants in the New Business case , while the defense attorneys for the five defendants who were found guilty announced that they will also present their appeals.

The judgment of the Second Criminal Case Settlement Court , in charge of Judge Baloisa Maquínez , was adopted on Monday, July 17, and the parties were notified that same day. The following day, first thing in the morning, the Judicial Branch informed the country that there were five convicted (including a former President of the Republic) and 10 acquitted, for laundering funds in the purchase of the shares of Editora Panamá América, SA (Epasa), with public funds .

It was also reported that the lawyers Carlos Carrillo, Rosendo Miranda, Arturo Saurí, Adriano Correa and José Felix Martín, defenders of Ricardo Martinelli, Valentín Martínez Vásquez, Iván Arrocha, Janeth Vásquez and Daniel Ochy, announced an appeal.

Carrillo, Miranda and Saurí confirmed that they announced their decision to appeal last Friday and that the deadline to present the supporting brief ends on Friday. Immediately afterwards, Judge Baloisa Marquinez must issue an order and send it to the Superior Court for Settlement of Criminal Cases, which is made up of magistrates José Hoo Justiniani, Secundino Mendieta and Manuel Mata Avendaño , who must decide whether the appeal is appropriate or not.

On July 17, Judge Marquínez issued a conviction against Martinelli, who was sentenced to 128 months in prison and a $19.2 million fine. While Ochy was sanctioned with 96 months in jail. Martínez Vásquez, Arrocha and Vásquez were sentenced to 80, 70 and 60 months in prison, respectively.

The three-day term to announce the appeal ended last Friday, despite the fact that two days later the judge issued a correction, to specify that Martinelli had one year to pay the fine of $19.2 million, counted from the moment he served his sentence in prison.

The jurists pointed out that the correction made by the judge did not affect the merits of the ruling, so there was no extension of the term to file the appeal.

Sources linked to the process explained that the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime announced its appeal against the acquittals issued by the judge, after 5:00 pm last Friday, which would be used by the defenders to try to have the appeal of the Public Ministry not be admitted.

Deputies Benicio Robinson and Raúl Pineda , from the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) , took office yesterday, as presidents of the Budget and Credentials commissions, respectively, of the National Assembly (AN), for the period 2023-2024.

It coincides that Pineda will be vice president of the Budget commission and Robinson, of the Credentials.

In this way, the Robinson-Pineda duo is in control of two of the most influential legislative commissions, in a pre-election year, in which both seek to be re-elected in their circuits.

For Robinson and Pineda, it is nothing new to be in the Budget commission. In fact, they were re-elected president and vice president, as was Cenobia Vargas , also from the PRD, who repeats as secretary of that commission.

The new thing has been to see them in the Credentials. A year ago they were not even members of that commission. Ricardo Torres , of the PRD, current first vice president of the AN, was sworn in as secretary .

Juan Diego Vásquez was the only deputy to vote against Robinson’s re-election. “A commission that has at least 3 lawsuits before the Supreme Court of Justice for serious breaches of the law should not re-elect its board of directors. I objected to the appointment because even knowing that I was going to lose, I will not go down in history as an accomplice to the illegalities that occur here, ” he said.

Three unconditional deputies of Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal (who are Yanibel Ábrego, Mayín Correa and Sergio Gálvez) have been placed in the Credentials Commission, at a time when the former president faces a sentence of 128 months in prison and a fine of $19.2 million, for money laundering in the case called New Business .

Gálvez took advantage of the inauguration to deliver accolades in favor of Martinelli. He even said that it is “totally false” that the journalists who work at Next TV (the television station that Martinelli controls) do not receive their salary. When one of the journalists present told him that inspectors from the Ministry of Labor arrived at the television station this morning, Gálvez replied that this was “political persecution.”

The Realizing Goals (RM) party, of former President Ricardo Martinelli, would be sending documents with false information to the Tribunal Electoral (TE) .

This was stated by the director of RM, Félix Moulanier, who resigned last month as national political coordinator.

Moulanier, who made serious complaints against Ricardo Martinelli and Yanibel Ábrego, said that they are posting information that has not occured. “they sat down to say: “this is what the president says, so sign to have a record” .

“But at least they met, because before, the ones we sent to the Tribunal Electoral were false documents of directives that were never given. Martinelli shielded himself in that directive by naming family and friends who protect him. We are 29 members and of those 25 are fully trusted by him and are there to protect him, “added Moulanier. Did they falsify records? ” Yes. The minutes said meeting dates that never took place,” he replied.

He assured that there are 200 delegates in the party and more than 50% are employees of Super 99. “This is their armour,” he said.

An administrative authorship in the Social Security Fund (CSS) revealed that the disappearance of thousands of vials of the drug fentanyl was not an isolated movement of a few officials trying to illegally profit from the possession of the doses.

Rather, it points to a kind of institutional network, in which at least 50 officials would be involved. At the moment it was anticipated that among them are administrative and medical personnel.

According to what was communicated by officials of the Legal Department, they would not be including the details of the investigation in the report delivered to the board of directors so as not to hinder the process. The names of those linked, positions, or operational mode, nor the current situation of the officials, in case they have been temporarily separated from their functions, were not revealed.

The justification is that if necessary, at some point the board of directors of the CSS must decide the appeals filed against the resolutions issued by the general directorate in the case of the loss of fentanyl.

namanian Foreign Ministry reported that it removed an accredited diplomat in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from his duties after an incident in which the official’s wife hit and pulled the administrator of the building where this Panamanian family lived.

This is Carlos Lawson , Panama’s business attaché in Argentina, and his wife Jessica Giovana Pineda, as reported by the main media outlets in that country, such as La Nación and Clarín, which have covered this incident, which occurred on July 11.

The victim has been identified as Juliana , a manager of the building in the residential Recoleta neighborhood where Lawson and her family have lived since last March. The assaulted woman, on the other hand, has been in that building for 13 years.

The conflict arose because the diplomat’s underage daughter left the elevator door open, making it impossible for any other resident of the building to use it.

“Then, Juliana made a comment to the minor that led to a discussion about the sidewalk of Arenales street. What followed was recorded: the diplomat’s wife grabs her by the hair, throws her to the ground and hits her”, according to the TN report , which adds that the victim ended up with two broken ribs, under medical treatment and scared by the reprisals that her attacker could undertake.

The Panamanian Foreign Ministry, in its statement on Monday, highlights that it contacted the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make itself available to the corresponding authorities, in order to collaborate to clarify what happened. In addition, it reported on the return of the official and his family to Panama.

The environmental organization Marea Verde launched a campaign with the slogans “Wanda needs your help” and “Let’s Build La Casa de Wanda Together” to raise funds for the construction and equipment of “La Casa de Wanda”, the new environmental interactive center to raise awareness about environmental protection in the country.

“La Casa de Wanda” will be built where the Wanda floating solid waste trapping wheel operates, located in the Juan Díaz river, from September 22, 2022.

This water wheel will work in conjunction with the floating barrier known as BoB, which will stop the waste in the Juan Díaz River, so that it can be later transported to the site where the collection, classification, correct disposal and recycling process will take place.


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