The United States sanctioned Riccardo Martinelli for alleged corruption and banned him from entering its borders.

The United States sanctioned Riccardo Martinelli for alleged corruption and banned him from entering its borders.
The United States sanctioned Ricardo Martinelli for alleged corruption and banned him from entering its territory. (Reuters)

Government of America This Wednesday was approved Former President of Panama Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) and alleged that he was involved in “Corruption on a grand scale”.

In a statement released by the US Secretary of State, Anthony BlinkenThe former president pointed out that he had “Accepted bribes in return for improperly awarded contracts” During his tenure.

Blinken noted that these actions “undermine the integrity of Panama’s democratic institutions.”

The bans, the report details, also extend to their “close relatives”.Preventing them from entering the United States.

Blinken noted that “Martinelli received bribes in exchange for improperly awarding government contracts during his presidency” that “made Martinelli and members of his immediate family ineligible to enter the United States.”

The former Panamanian president was one of the 36 people summoned to Panama for questioning in the money laundering case last November. Bribery of Brazilian construction company OdebrechtThe biggest scam in the country’s history.

Former President Martinelli’s sons, Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique, were released on Tuesday after serving sentences for “participation” in the United States. Bribery payments made under the direction of Odebrecht“Total 28 million dollars.

The former Panamanian president was one of 36 people to stand trial in Panama last November for money laundering in the biggest corruption scandal in Panama's history, linked to the bribery of Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.  (AP)
The former Panamanian president was one of 36 people indicted last November in Panama for allegedly taking bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, the biggest scandal in the country’s history. (AP)

Both left from there New airportProtected by K (New Jersey). ICE agents, US Immigration Service, said his lawyer, Carlos Carrillo.

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The former ruler’s sons were accused in Panama of another scandal known as the “Blue Apple”, a conspiracy to collect commissions to speed up the contracts of the Martinelli government (2009-2014), who wants to run for president again in the 2024 elections. .

At the sentencing hearing, attorneys for the brothers, who pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, They accused former President Martinelli (2009-2014) of instigating the crimes.

Panama’s judicial branch promised days ago that the brothers would go to jail upon their return, after a court rejected requests by their lawyers to “suspend the arrest warrant” against them.

“The public ministry has high expectations that these two men (…) will face the criminal responsibility they are accused of,” Javier Caraballo, Panama’s chief prosecutor, said on Tuesday.

But this Wednesday, Attorney Carrillo confirmed it The Martinelli brothers “cannot be detained” in Panama because they each posted seven million dollars in bail.: Two million for the Odebrecht case and five million for the “Blue Apple” case.

Former ruler's sons in Panama
The former ruler’s sons were accused in Panama of another scandal known as the “Blue Apple”, a conspiracy to collect commissions to speed up the contracts of the Martinelli government (2009-2014), who wants to run for president again in the 2024 elections. (AP)

Panamanian media speculated that the Martinelli brothers would arrive in Panama this Wednesday night. Along with their father, they now have to file accounts Panama Justice In the investigation for The Odebrecht case.

In July 2017, Odebrecht signed a payment agreement with the Panamanian prosecutor’s office. $220 million in government fines over 12 yearsThis was not accomplished.

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In addition to the Panama cases for alleged money laundering, The former president is under investigation for corruption in Spain For the bribes the construction company FCC admitted paying in Panama, and of course the other Spying a woman in Majorca.

Martinelli’s children left America June 25, 2020 On a cruise to the Bahamas, they boarded a private plane to travel to Panama.

However, they came to an end as entry into the country was banned due to the Covid-19 pandemic. was savedr, whence they crossed overland to Guatemala. There they were finally arrested on July 6, 2020 when they tried to travel to their country on a separate flight.

A US court accused them of taking advantage of the country’s banks “Selfishness and Greed” Fraud.

In addition to the money-laundering charges in Panama, the former president is being investigated in Spain for a corruption case over bribes he admitted paying in Panama to the construction company FCC, and another for allegedly spying on a woman in Mallorca.  .  (EFE)
In addition to the money-laundering charges in Panama, the former president is being investigated for alleged bribery in Spain, for admitting to FCC payments in Panama and for allegedly spying on a woman in Mallorca. . (EFE)

On December 21, 2016, Odebrecht pleaded guilty in the same Brooklyn court that convicted the Martinellis. He distributed $788 million in bribes to heads of government, various public officials and political parties, mainly in Latin America.

In Panama, Odebrecht built two tunnels in the metropolitan area, the expansion of the Tocumen airport and several parts of the capital’s waterfront, among other multimillion-dollar projects. The multinational company admitted to paying $59 million in bribes.

In the case, former president Martinelli, 70, who was called to trial in August, denies receiving “any improper royalties” and insists it is a “political circus” to prevent him from running. Back to the presidency.

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(With information from EFE and AFP)

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