Ex-president Ricardo Martinelli, who lingered in a Miami detention center for over a year while a team of US lawyers fought his extradition to Panama to face trial for wiretapping told Panama Supreme Court judges on Monday, September 10 that he could have stayed in Miami, United States “all the time I wanted, but I preferred to return to my country to face this case, I came to defend my name and I will defend it with my life”.
He was seeking bail for $250,000. a fraction of what he proffered to a US judge who rejected his appeal because he was considered a flight risk.
“I have the right to be given bail for health reasons …it cannot be that there is one law for Martinelli and another for others,” he said during his presentation at the hearing with the plenary of the Supreme Court.
He said that he had nothing to do with the wiretapping because he did not participate in the meetings of the Security Council, while he was president, at the same time he said that “anyone who has wiretapped should feel the full weight of the law”
Prosecutor Harry Diaz asked the court not to grant bail for the former president who represents a risk of flight, “by sea, land, and air.”
Diaz also questioned the fact of Martinelli’s nominations to several positions in the 2019 election for 2019. “If his condition is so ‘serious’, why is he running for an elected office,?” he said.