39 people are expectare expectedbezzlement charges in November at the preliminary hearing into Panama’s food bags scandal .
Some $47 million was spent on distributing bags in four months leading up to the last election. The purchase was made with funds from the defunct National Assistance Program (PAN).
On Saturday July 15 the Criminal Court suspended a scheduled hearing Scheduled for that day, arguing that the Second High Court has yet to resolve a request
to accumulate the processes followed to the ex-director of PAN Rafael Guardia Jaén, who has been detained
in El Renacer prison since November 2014, for the alleged commission of crimes against Public administration during the government of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014).
32 months have passed since the Public Ministry (MP) initiated the investigation of this case, based on
the denunciation of a protected witness.
Eleven months have elapsed since the Public Ministry sent the process to the Judicial Branch.
The movements of money that took place in the PAN during the administration of Guardia Jaén included the
Purchase of at least $57 million in food bags. Out of this , $43 million was spent in only 4 months, between January and April 2014, prior to the elections in May of that year.
The remainder of what was spent on the purchase of food bags – $14 million – was used between November and December 2014