Security Minister, Jose Raul Mulino, recanted on the Government's decision to review and possibly cancel contracts with the Italian consortium Finmeccanica in they center of a corruption investigation with alleged links to Panama.
The threat was made when Mulino visited Italy to try to dampen down the corruption and bribary scandal, an asked the Italian government to declare that there was no corruption involved in negotiations for the $250 million contract for helicopters and radar equipmenr.
In the event that the Italian authorities do not make the declaration the contract might be canceled he sais.
On Tuesday Foreign Minister Roberto Henriquez, who admitted in statements to Telemetro details of what Mulino had asked about after an April 24 meeting in Rome with the Director for Latin America of the Italian Foreign Ministry, Luigi Macotta. Henriquez said his colleague told him that he only talked of review and rescind not to cancel contracts.
But, says La Prensa news agencies like AP, EFE, ANSA, and Italian media, that day broadcast statements given by Mulino at a press conference in Rome, saying Finmeccanica contracts "will be evaluated and could be canceled" in case of "not having a satisfactory answer from Italy" Mulino said that he would prefer "no contract to clear the name of the Republic of Panama."
Earlier in the year Mulino resigned irrevocably from his post as Security Minister after a conflict with the reigning Police chief. He later recanted.