Categories: Panama

Criticism mounts of slow coach judge handling Martinelli file

CRITICISM of a Supreme Court Judge who spent over two months dawdling  over a file implicating  Ricardo Martinelli,  in an insider trading scandal continues to mount.

Justice Hernán De León is being criticized for his handling of a report submitted by the Superintendency of Securities

Lawyers consulted by La Prensa have said the judge should take action on the complaint.

“In a case as significant as this, it is irresponsible to have not made a decision,” said Guillermo Márquez, a former Electoral Tribunal official.

The entire court decides whether a case will be accepted or rejected, but the timetable for the decision rests with the judge handling the matter.

In a message to La Prensa, De León, who was appointed bt Martinelli,  said that the case was delayed because defense lawyers for the former president asked for a copy of the file.

Former Comptroller Alvin Weeden said that this is not a valid excuse. “Copies can be made quickly,” he said.

De León also said he was carefully reviewing the case file.”This should be reviewed carefully and not with urgency, because you want to avoid making mistakes,” he said.

But legal experts said that two months is an unusually long time for a case to be reviewed.

“To go more than two months and not have ruled on the admissibility of a case is very rare,” said José Alberto Álvarez, president of the National Bar Association.

Martinelli faces accusations that he used an account at the brokerage firm Financial Pacific to trade shares of the Canadian mining stock Petaquilla Minerals. That company benefitted from decisions made by the former president says La Prensa,

David Young :