On the eve of his trial for illegal interception of private messengers and two types of embezzlement, former President Ricardo Martinelli was taken from the El Renacer prison was on Monday to the headquarters of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (Imelcf) for evaluation.
Since his extradition from the USA on June 11 last year, Martinelli, 67, and his lawyers have unsuccessfully sought to persuade a series of judicial hearings that his health is in such a precarious state that he should be moved from the prison.
Meanwhile, the man who has produced medical reports claiming he could drop dead at any moment and suffers from stress and hypertension has been planning to run a strenuous election campaign to start a political comeback as mayor of Panama, with the announced intention of running for president in 2024
On February 28, the judge of guarantees Francisco Carpintero gave the green light for Imelcf staff to review two reports of ex-Governor Martinelli that were prepared by private doctors Bey Lombana and Gaspar Arenas.
On the transfer of Martinelli to the Imelcf, Jessica Canto, Martinelli's lawyer, asked on Monday for an " objective" evaluation and a "first line" job.
Canto said that what is sought is to know the medical-legal condition of the defendant and then be able to opt for a change of injunction.
"Everyone deprived of liberty [has the right to a change of measure] if he has any condition," Canto said
The Martinelli trial is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12.