Court rejects constitutional ploy in Odebrecht case

765Views 0Comments Posted 02/12/2023

The First Superior Court of Justice rejected the protection of constitutional guarantees presented by the defense of the Uruguayan citizen Juan Francisco Mutio, called to trial for the alleged money laundering through the Brazilian company Odebrecht.

Through a resolution, dated November 29, 2023, and under the presentation of Judge Miguel A. Espino, the court denied the protection that sought to revoke a decision by Judge Baloisa Marquínez who rejected an incident of annulment against the order to investigate Mutio issued by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office.

The Court made up of judges Fernando Tatis and Janeth Torres, considered that the appeal presented by Mutio's defense did not provide a duly authenticated copy of the mixed order of November 7, 2022, by which the annulment incident was denied.

Mutio is part of the group of 35 defendants who must appear at the trial to be held from July 15 to August 23, 2024, in the Odebrecht case, in which the former Panama presidents Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) and Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019) are also charged.

The Uruguayan is mentioned as part of the money laundering scheme used by Odebrecht's Caja 2 to move money through various companies.

The team of anti-corruption prosecutors, led by Ruth Morcillo and Mohamad Daud, claim to have evidence to achieve convictions.

In the Mutio case, it is linked to the company Sherkson Internacional, SA, indicating that it would have received funds from Odebrecht that it then deposited in an account in Switzerland in the name of Klienfeld Services Ltd, a company created in Antigua and Barbuda.

According to the prosecution, the accused was part of the frontmen who moved money from the Brazilian company. The first transactions were made in May 2007 when Sherkson received three deposits from Odebrecht for a total amount of $22.5 million, which he then deposited into an account in the name of Klienfeld Services Ltd.

Mutio appears alongside fellow Uruguayan Andrés Norberto Sanguinetti, brother of former president Julio María Sanguinetti, as an alleged frontman for Odebrecht in the management of funds that were distributed to various bank accounts.

Initially, this trial had been scheduled for August 1 to 18, 2023, but on July 31, one day before, its postponement was announced, because Judge Marquínez was still analyzing the evidence adduced by the prosecution and the defendants' defenders. The trial was then left for its alternate date: from September 27 to October 17, but was finally rescheduled for 2024, just after the change of presidential administration, which will occur on July 1 of that year.