Panama’s Attorney, General Javier Caraballo, confirmed David Ochy's arrest and indicated that he will be subjected to a "deferred" extradition process since he must first answer for money laundering crimes that he is accused of in Costa Rica.
He added that the extradition was requested by the Second Criminal Cases Court for his involvement in the New Business case, on October 6, through the Foreign Ministry's International Affairs Directorate. The court had previously declared him in absentia.
The prosecutor highlighted that the arrest of Ochy, as well as that of drug trafficker Dangelo Dayan Ramírez in Cali, Colombia, on November 22, "is a sign that international collaboration is an effective tool in the fight against organized crime."
The Attorney General of Costa Rica, Carlo Díaz, confirmed in a press conference what Caraballo already said about an eventual extradition to Panama. “We must conclude our criminal process and we could extradite him until after the execution. It will not be until Costa Rica finishes its criminal process,” Díaz said. Caraballo indicated that the case that Costa Rica opened against Ochy for alleged money laundering has as a precedent crime committed in Panama.
Ochy must be prosecuted for the New Business case, a process by which former president Ricardo Martinelli and his brother Daniel Ochy were already sentenced for money laundering, last July, to 128 and 96 months in prison, respectively, by criminal judge Baloisa Marquinez. That sentence, at first instance, was confirmed last October by the First Court of Justice.
David Ochy was not tried with the rest of the defendants, because when Judge Marquínez held the trial last June, he enjoyed electoral criminal jurisdiction due to his then status as presidential candidate for Realizing Goals (RM), the party founded and chaired by Martinelli. He lost criminal jurisdiction last May. According to the Electoral Code, “ once the electoral criminal jurisdiction has been lifted within a process, it will not be necessary to request its lifting again if the voter acquires the jurisdiction again due to any other situation
In that primary, Ochy was not seen campaigning and asking for votes. He ultimately lost, but, last November, RM nominated him as a substitute deputy to the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).
The prosecution accuses David Ochy because through Transcaribe Trading Corporation (TCT) (the company that in August 2012 blocked the facilities of La Prensa and Mi Diario to prevent the circulation of the newspapers) he transferred funds to the basket account of New Business Services Ltd., which advanced that the State had given in exchange for remodeling the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway.
That money was used to acquire the shares of Editora Panamá América, SA (Epasa), in December 2010, when Martinelli was governor. The trial proved that Martinelli is the beneficiary of 60% of Epasa's shares.
The Second Settlement Court for Criminal Cases has yet to hold Ochy's trial. A date has not yet been set.
With information from the EFE agency