Martinelli-case lower court judges seen easier to buy

La Prensa cartoonist's take on Panama justice

392Views 0Comments Posted 10/12/2018

Reactions to the decision of Panama’s Supreme Court (CSJ)  to avoid handling the trial of former president Ricardo Martinelli for illegal wiretapping of at least 150 people continue to reverberate with representatives of civil society declaring it a mockery.

The plenary of the court decided to decline jurisdiction and send the case to the ordinary system, where “justice’’ widely perceived as going to the highest bidder.

The Independent Movement (Movin),  believes there are many Panamanians who feel mocked by the whole process and according to Horacio Icaza, all that the magistrates have done, has been a show and a pantomime.

He added that asking the magistrates to be transparent and independent is to waste time because they have shown that they are not. Seven magistrates voted in favor of this decision and only two against. Icaza also mentioned that it was a source of surprise that there were magistrates who had "a moment of conscience and change their style of judging."

The president of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede), Mercedes Eleta, said that the CSJ does not have the best image and credibility and neither does the ordinary justice system where  people believe that it is easier to buy a judge  than one of the CSJ and that the worst of all is that the population believes that all judges are for sale.

The Martinelli case will go to the Accusatory Penal System and will be overseen by three judges.

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