The preliminary hearing of the investigation of The Panama Papers by the Third Court of Criminal Proceedings of Panama to determine if the merits exist for a money-laundering trial will be staged in the Balboa Theatre and will run from November 22 to December 17 with a cast of hundreds including 50 high profile defendants and their legal teams presided over by Judge Baloisa Marquínez.
The curtain when up on Monday when Marquínez, admitted nine prescriptions of the criminal action and denied seven, and the 700-page prosecutorial hearing of the investigation was read.
The Panama Papers plot emerged in early 2016 and attracted worldwide attention with the leak of documents from the law firm Mossack Fonseca.
According to the investigation of the Public Ministry, the defendants manipulated the provision of professional services related to the creation of joint-stock companies and the administration of funds to hide the identity of the beneficiaries. The judicial investigation allegedly found false contracts and the opening of fraudulent accounts to transfer and keep illegal assets in custody.
They would have provided advice to illegally hide funds from locals and foreigners. The activity, according to the Public Ministry, was carried out with full knowledge of the illicit origin in exchange for high and extraordinary commissions. The information revealed how personalities from politics, business, sports, and the arts used offshore companies to hide profits, assets, and evade the treasury.