5  Martinelli ex-ministers among 24 to trial in $33 million helicopter scam

Guillermo Ferrufino

1,088Views 0Comments Posted 13/01/2020

Five former ministers and several former directors of entities of the administration of former President Ricardo Martinelli are among 24called to trial in the case of $33.1 million helicopter rental services processed by different state entities and paid through the National Assistance Program (PAN).

As collected by the Office of the Prosecutor, a possible property injury of $ 33.1 million is estimated.

The investigations arose after the Comptroller's Office carried out an audit of the period from 2010 to

2014 and  determined that there was damage to the assets of the State.

The Court of Auditors bases its decision by pointing out in its communication to the Public Prosecutor's Office that those called to trial requested the rental of flight hours and certified that they had received the services, without properly documenting the transactions with complete,

and accurate information. adequate to allow subsequent verification to ensure the proper use of public funds.

They add that it is a proven fact that there are no adequate control methods to ensure that paid flights have been made.

The Court of Auditors already on Monday, January 13  called  to trial 24 people in including five former ministers: Guillermo Ferrufino, former Minister of Social

Development for an alleged injury of $3 million dollars, Franklin Vergara former Minister of Health for $1.1 million, to former agricultural development ministers Emilio Kieswetter for $83,160 and Oscar Osorio for $253,530 dollars and the former Minister of Health Javier Díaz for $24,950.