IF THERE WAS any lingering doubt about Odebrecht’s involvement in Panama’s last presidential race it has now been removed.
Mónica Moura confessed before Brazilian Judge Sergio Moro that Odebrecht paid money for electoral campaigns in 2014 in several countries, including Panama.
Moura and her husband, João Santana, both now serving lengthy jail terms in Brazil, directed the Arias campaign, with the assistance of dirty tricks specialist, Salomon Shamah.
“In all the electoral campaigns we did outside Brazil, Panama, Venezuela and Angola, Odebrecht contributed to them,” said the publicist, a fact that was corroborated by other witnesses, reports La Prensa.
Arias whose failure to deliver in the election, in spite of the efforts of the Brazilian rainmaker, has kept a low profile since t being chastised by Martinelli, for a poor performance.
Shamah, a close confident of Martinelli has fled the country and twice failed to show at court hearings when he is facing corruption charges.
Martinelli’s wife Marta was vice-presidential running mate, so an Arias win would have kept Martinelli close to the reins of power.
Odebrecht has admitted to paying bribes in a dozen countries in exchange for public contracts.
It has been the focus of the Lava Jato mass bribery investigation, with Panama front and center as a staging post for the transfer of millions of dollars of bribes to recipients in other countries.