Panama’s jet-set judges spend $129,299

Ayu Prado
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PANAMA’S  senior  magistrate who has complained about lack of funds for the functioning of the Supreme Court (CSJ) continues to lead the pack in overseas jaunts which cost the entity $129,299 in the first nine months of the year.

That included  court president José Ayú Prado’s  jaunt  to Madrid, Barcelona, Austria and Russia at a cost of over $14,000.

In  September 2016 when the judicial branch got its $160.8 million budget for this year Ayú Prado, warned that it was not enough for the functioning of the entity.

Bt, aus La Prensa points out,  the institution does have sufficient liquidity to cover airfare and travel expenses to multiple countries for judges and other senior officials while scores of high profile casesremain unresolved.

During the first five months of this year, the Judicial Branch allocated $ 129,229  according to a report on the  institution’s website

Missing ethics
For Magaly Castillo, of the Citizens Alliance For Justice, the trips represent a “wastage” of public funds, and removes ethical authority from the judges of the Court .

[While we hope for]  one day jurists with integrity and dedicated in body and soul  to improve the administration of justice and not to act selfishly, as at this moment, “said Castillo.

In  five months That total, $82,850 was spent on per diem and $46,429 in airfare.

to attend seminars, meetings, and “training” in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Peru, Argentina, Colombia,

Nicaragua, Bolivia, Guatemala, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Austria, Russia and

Of the 63 trips registered, the entity did not report the cost of  31 air tickets when  host authorities assumed the cost.

In the first two months of the year (January and February), the state body spent $14,257 on nine trips, while in March it  spent $28,565 in travel and per diem including a trip made to Argentina by the magistrate of the First Civil Chamber

Ángel Russo de Cedeño, to attend a four-day workshop for four days, for which  $6,164.was earmarked

In April, the expense was $27,737. The most expensive trip of that month was made by Ayú Prado, to  Washington, an expense of $4,609.

This, however, was not Ayu Prado’s most expensive trip this year. Between May 13 and 22 he visited two cities of Spain: Barcelona and Madrid, and also Austria and Russia.

On the last destination, he was accompanied by Judge Cedalise, a trip for which the CSJ paid $7,187. The total amount paid on this tour was $14,000 –  $6,125 on per diem and almost $8,000  on plane tickets.

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