Martinelli trial set for June next year

917Views 3Comments Posted 22/12/2020

The retrial of former President Ricardo Martinelli for the alleged crimes of telecommunications interception, monitoring, persecution and surveillance without judicial authorization has been set for June 22, 2021.

It follows a November 20, Appeals Court  ruling  that annulled the August 2019 sentence that declared him "not guilty."

His defense said it will go to the streets.

The Judicial Organ annouced through Mondae that the oral trial will begin on June 22, 2021 at 9:00 am, in Room 1 of the Office of the First Judicial District of Panama. It did not specify who are the three judges who will make up the trial court.

On November 20, an appeals court annulled the "not guilty" sentence handed down in favor of Martinelli and ordered a new trial with the same evidence validated by the then magistrate judge of guarantees, Jerónimo Mejía, in the intermediate stage of the process, developed in the Supreme Court.

Among the arguments given by justices Donaji Arosemena and Yiles Pittí to annul the August 2019 sentence are,  that the Trial Court made up of justices Roberto Tejeira, Arlene Caballero and Raúl Vergara made several errors of assessment. For example, it did not exercise its disciplinary power by allowing the defense to interrupt witnesses and present incidents and allegations in the middle of the taking of evidence.

Alfredo Vallarino, from the team of lawyers of the former president, said on Twitter that " and that they will go to the streets.

“This time they are going to find us in the courts and on the street. Here, starting in January, we will mobilize so that Magistrates hear a clear message that is in the Constitution. No one can be tried more than once for the same cause, ”he tweeted.