Radio Panama, owned by the Spanish conglomerate Grupo Prisa is the latest target of former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) who has boasted that he has the money and the power to crush his detractors.
He has filed a lawsuit for alleged slander and insult against the owners, executives, and journalists of the broadcaster in which he demands compensation of at least $5 million
This is a "criminal complaint about a crime against honor to the detriment of former President Ricardo Martinelli," Alma Cortés, one of the lawyers who filed the complaint on Friday, Dec. 6, told TVN.
With the demand "a provisional compensation for $5 million is requested, which could increase," said the lawyer and former minister of the Martinelli Government.
Radio Panama reported that the criminal complaint was filed following reports on the case of the alleged payment of multi-millions in bribes by Spanish conglomerate FCC in exchange for state contracts and that would involve the ex-president.
According to the complaint, the details of which the Martinelli owned Panama America newspaper published, "alleged news" about the FCC case broadcast by Radio Panama "between November 22 and 26" last responds to "a strategy of continued attacks on honor, the honor and image of Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, through false news lacking legal, objective and impartial support. "
In the complaint, the lawyers also requested that Martinelli "have a psychological evaluation due to the effects received for damage to his image and honor," according to the newspaper's information.
On November 22, FCC made its first statement before the Spanish National Court, in which it explained details about the payment, through simulated invoices that the company denounced before the Spanish Prosecutor's Office, of $91 million in kickbacks for public contracts in Panama and for those being investigated for corruption and money laundering.
According to the Spanish information, at the end of May, FCC presented two briefs before the Prosecutor's Office in which it denounced the commercial agreements signed by its subsidiaries with a network of societies of the Spanish ‘Panamanian lawyer Mauricio Cort, an alleged frontman of Martinelli.
This strategy "covered up agreements to pay payments for alleged corruption, to ensure the award of important infrastructure contracts that were being tendered by the Governments of Panama, Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua," cites the imputation order.
Martinelli has filed multiple million-dollar complaints against Panamanian media, informants and political analysts in recent years, which has led the InterAmerican Press Association (SIP) to denounce the "legal pressures" of the former president "to intimidate and silence public opinion