Flight risk keeps Martinelli behind bars

734Views 7Comments Posted 07/07/2017

PANAMA’S fugitive former president,  Ricardo Martinelli, presents a flight risk and must remain in custody until the request for extradition to Panama is heard on July 25.

The decision was made Friday July 7 by Judge Edwin Torres of the Court of South District of Florida.

Torres assessed the risk of flight, given that Martinelli, has connections around the world, "so this Court cannot lose control over him until the process is concluded ".

He also underscored the commitment made by the United States to the bilateral extradition with Panama in 1904, and other multilateral conventions of which  The United States is a signatory.

"We undoubtedly invoke extradition treaties for pending cases much  more than other countries ask us for extradition, "the judge said

Torres also reflected on the relevance of extradition agreements. He remembered that already In 1988 his colleague John Kester warned that the tools of collaboration between

countries would become very important, given the increase in multinational transactions, ease and speed of air interconnections and the rise of complex economic crimes.

"This forecast is certainly true, as this particular case demonstrates," he said.

The judge denied  the bail request of Martinelli's lawyers, despite the fact that he proposed to deposit 10% of a $5 million bond, backed by his w ife Marta Linares de Martinelli, plus another personal bond of $2 million, as well as deliver

the custody of his private plane, wear an electronic bracelet, stay in his Miami  residence and and hire the services of a 24-hour police agent (retired).

Martinelli has been detained since June 12 and is required in Panama to face trial for the unauthorized interception of communications by the Security Council during his regime. If convicted he could face up to 21 years imprisonment.

He is also facing numerous corruption and embezzlement charges which he and his supporters have labeled “political persecution.