NEW BUSINESS: Witness in the box six hours returns Monday

Elisio Abrego, unruffled expert witness.

608Views 0Comments Posted 27/05/2023


On the fourth day of the trial in the New Business case, expert witness Eliseo Ábrego described the corporate and financial scheme that was used to collect $43.9 million in the New Business Services company account, funds with which the purchase of Editora Panamá América was completed.

Ábrego took the stand at 4:20 p.m., as a witness required by several defense attorneys, including the legal team of former President Ricardo Martinelli who according to the investigation is the main shareholder of Epasa and is one of the 15 defendants. prosecuted since May 23, in the court presided over by criminal judge Baloisa Marquínez, for alleged money laundering.

The expert, an accountant by profession, said that he works in the money laundering division of the Judicial Investigation Directorate (DIJ) of the National Police and has 24 years of experience. He was in charge of preparing the financial document used by the Public Ministry to support its theory of the case.

Reading from a document, the expert said: “They wrote them a cashier's check for $27 million 395 thousand and canceled a loan at Banco General for $12 million 500 thousand. They paid $1,742,197 to the National Treasury, which represents the value of the transfer of the shares in tax (...)”, 

He explained that part of that transaction is related to infrastructure projects granted by the State.

"Money came from there to pay either part of the shares or to pay part of the loans that had been requested at the Savings Bank," he said.

He confirmed that Epasa's shares were transferred to three companies. The file shows that one of those was TPAHC, which in the investigation appears linked to Martinelli, who had 60% of the shares of Epasa. The rest was divided into two companies, each with 20%, controlled by Henry Mizrachi.

During six hours of badgering by defense lawyers, who were sometimes admonished by the judge Abrego never lost his composure.

He will return to the witness box on Monday, August 30.