Spanish newspaper appeals Martinelli ruling

576Views 0Comments Posted 18/06/2020

The Spanish o newspaper El Mundo reports that it will appeal the judgment of a Madrid Court, which condemns the media to publish a " rectification " demanded by  former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli.

The  news story links the Spanish FCC company with corruption and money laundering for paying $92 million in commissions in Panama.The company received contacts totaling hundreds of millions from the Martinelli administration

On June 12, Judge Eusebia Martín Cuesta condemned the SLU General Information Publishing Unit to publish a rectification requested by Martinelli, after El Mundo cited statements by the head of legal counsel for the FCC company, who testified before the anti-corruption prosecution Spain - last July- that the documents attached to the complaint “had served as formal cover for the departure of company funds to Mauricio Cort as Martinelli frontman, for the payment of commissions demanded by the latter to allow FCC to operate in Panama within the scope of its public works business ”.

FCC is charged with corruption in international transactions and money laundering, for paying 82 million euros ($92.1 million dollars, at the current exchange rate) in commissions to obtain awards in Panama.

Judge Martín Cuesta accepted a “request” from Martinelli for El Mundo to reproduce the following “rectification”: “ Mr. Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal is not under investigation in the criminal proceedings of the Central Court of Instruction nº Two to which you refer in your article, nor in any other type of judicial, criminal, administrative or civil proceedings, neither in Spain nor in Panama, directly or indirectly related to the news item contained in its article on the initiation of criminal proceedings against FCC Construcción, FCC Construcción Centroamérica y Hospital Constructions ”.

The judge, who also ordered the defendant to pay the costs of the process, said that an appeal can be filed against his decision within 20 days. El Mundo said it would follow the appeal process, indicated that it will proceed in this way.

"The sentence has several defects of substance and form," said Moyano, the newspaper's deputy director.

In its defense, El Mundo alleges that it cannot rectify sentences issued by a third party, in this case, the statements of the person in charge of legal counsel at the FCC before the anti-corruption prosecution. The publication considers that "it is not empowered to 'rectify' the opinions of a third party, nor to put into its mouth words that it has not issued."

Martinelli, in his petition, alleges that the information is "inaccurate, biased and confusing", and that it has caused him "serious harm".

Although María Mercedes Revillo Sánchez is listed in court documents as Martinelli's defender, the former president congratulated Colombian lawyer Diego Cadena "for his excellent work accomplished in Spain, so that the media in that country publish the right of reply."

The newspaper El Tiempo in Bogotá recalled that Cadena, who was a lawyer for former President Álvaro Uribe and "agent for drug lords", is called to  face charges  for the alleged buying  of witnesses in the midst of a process that is being carried out,  against Uribe.

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