THE FULFILMENT of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli’s boast/halucination that he will return to Panama in triumph and that the party he founded, funded and ruled will be returned to power, will be tested on January 9 in a Miami courtroom when Judge Marcia Cooke hears his habeas corpus presented before the Court of the Southern District of Florida.
January 9, is known in Panama as “Martyrs’ Day” and marks the events of 1964 when 28 people died during riots against the American occupation of the Canal Zone. It is now recognized as a day of national mourning,
The Martinelli hearing will be at 2:00 p.m. in federal building Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr., in Miami, where he has been behind bars since June 12 awaiting to be extradited to Panama, where the Supreme Court wants to try him for the unauthorized interception of Communications from the National Security Council attached to the Presidency during the last two years of his term (2012-2014).
The habeas corpus was presented on September 28 after another federal judge – Edwin Torres- endorsed the return of Martinelli to Panama, considering that there are “reasonable grounds” to suppose him guilty “of all or some of the crimes imputed to him, “given the wealth of evidence provided by the Supreme Court of Justice in the extradition request.
On October 2, the US Supreme Court denied a habeas corpus to Martinelli and had previously, rejected a request for bail.
He will have been confined to his cell for nearly seven months when he gets to hear whether he can plan for the triumphal return, or to hold court in El Renacer prison with other accused members of his previous administration. while waiting for trial with a potential sentence of up to 20 years.
Some of a shrinking band of CD loyalists will see him as a martyr to “political persecution.”