CONCERN and skepticism reign in civil society and legal circles about the future of other high profile cases in the hands of Supreme Court Judge Ángela Russo as calls go out for her resignation.
According to one search carried out by La Prensa, the magistrate - who was appointed by President Juan Carlos Varela in December 2015 must resolve at least five processes.
One of them is the protection of constitutional guarantees presented by counsel Luis Eduardo Camacho González on behalf of Luis Enrique and Ricardo Martinelli Linares, sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli, to overrule an order of the Anti-corruption Special Prosecutor's Office in the Odebrecht case, to check the brothers' bank accounts.
Russo admitted the amparo April 27 and the decision suspended all the investigations carried out by the prosecution in relation to the accounts of both.
Camacho González attacked the resolution issued by the MP in February 2017, in which prosecutor Tania Sterling asked local banks to provide information about accounts and transactions of the children of the former president.
On the same day that she admitted the amparo, Russo sent a note to Sterling, ordering the suspension of any proceedings related to the accounts of the Martinelli sons.
That time Attorney General , Kenia Porcell, clarified that the order of Russo only suspended proceedings relating to the bank accounts of the brothers, but the rest of the research was on its way.
Russo also has in her office a preventive habeas corpus filed by the Defense of Gabriel Btesh (a member of the Ricardo Martinelli “zero circle”. The action seeks that Btesh not be stopped, as part of the process for the alleged commission of money laundering through contracts signed with the State for infrastructure works [the Arriajan-Chorrera highway widening] but whose funds, would have been used for the purchase of Editora Panamá América S.A., (New Business case).
The judge must also decide whether to admit a complaint against former president Martinelli, accused of the alleged commission of crimes against public administration. This is the search for alleged irregularities in the failed Tonosí Irrigation process. In an inquiry before the MP, the merchant Felipe Pipo Virzi said that the contract awarded to the company Hidalgo & Hidalgo (H & H) was granted by instruction of the then president. Virzi acknowledged receiving $ 10 million for alleged consulting with H & H, money he distributed to zero circle members following Martinelli's orders.
Russo, must also resolve a habeas corpus interposed by Ariel Alvarado, former president of the Panamanian Football Federation, investigated for alleged money laundering in the FIFA football corruption case.
nobody said anything about wrong sized paper, however, if the person filing the report cannot follow even that simple instruction, how can we expect them to conduct a clean search or maintain the integrity of a clean chain of evidence? i agree that there is a point where rules can become picayune but everything submitted in an arrest has to be consistent with the facts, or all credibility is lost.
And how does filing a report on the wrong sized paper advance justice?
but it also serves the general population from arrest without probable cause. yes there are technicalities required, but they're safeguards for all of us. if an arresting officer doesn't have his facts straight, doesn't fill out paperwork accurately, or doesn't acknowledge the rights of the suspect (not convict), then there should be no arrest. law with 'technicalities' is certainly more just than the law that held Laura Michelle Reese for 7 years without cause or access to a court, then had to convict her so the system would not be held accountable for it's lack of due process or evidence.
I know that Napoleonic Law is heavy on form over function, much more than British Common Law where still many cases have been thrown out over "technicalities" but I think the former system takes it to the extreme. No one wants to see the Rule of Law made a mockery unless you're the alleged guilty party, in which case it serves their purpose nicely.