TWO OTHER plea bargains are in the works in the Odebrecht bribery scandal involving up some $86 million passed to prominent figures in the Martinelli administration.
Others are likely to follow with collaborators trying to avoid heavy jail sentences.
Public Ministry (MP) sources say that one of the collaboration agreements is quite advanced and another “is still in the negotiation phase ” reports La Prensa.
The agreements would be with Panamanians who served as intermediaries between Odebrecht and the beneficiaries of the bribes.
La Prensa names José Luis Saiz and Jorge Espino as the latest collaborators with more expected to follow as they seek to reduce potential long jail terms.
Saiz said he was contacted by former Minister of Economy and Finance Frank De Lima to receive Odebrecht monies in an account in Andorra, controlled by the former official.
Espino, meanwhile, confessed to the prosecutor’s office that he registered an account – also in Andorra – in which the construction company deposited money for Jaime Ford, former Minister of Public Works.
The prosecution has already approved a sentence agreement with Olmedo Méndez Tribaldos, another “Testaferro” of De Lima.
On November 9, the Twelfth Criminal Court validated three collaboration agreements between the MP and of Odebrecht collaborators André Luiz Rabello, Olivio Rodrigues Junior and Luiz Eduardo Da Rocha Soares, who identified more than $86 million paid in bribes in Panama to officials and individuals.
Two other agreements were also validated by the court, but their content is not known because the audience was not public. One of these could be the agreement with Mendez Tribaldos.
At the end of October, the MP reported that it had four agreements signed with local intermediaries and six others were put on hold by the defense lawyers of the accused, after the twelfth deputy criminal judge, Lania Batista, denied the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor an extension of the investigation process.