THE MAJORITY of the hearings and proceedings of the eight criminal cases opened by the Supreme Court against ex-president Ricardo Martinelli are paralyzed.
In three of the cases: the dehydrated $44.9 million dried food contract; the 355 pardons granted on his last day in office; and the alleged extortion of the Italian company Impregilo, hearings to lay charges have been requested but have been suspended or no dates have been scheduled, reports La Prensa.
In the cases of dehydrated food and Impregilo the dates has not been set, while for the 355 pardons scandal the hearing was scheduled for May 10 and June 14 of this year but on neither of the two days was the any action
In other cases, like the purchase of grains, the loan from the Isthmus Savings and Collection company, in which a witness has said he carried suitcases stuffed with cash to Martinelli at the presidential palace. more than 15 months have passed without any known proceedings.
The Financial Pacific transactions case involving many of the Martinelli inner circle is the only one in which a diligence has been carried out recently.
Last month, prosecutor Hernán De León called for and was promised, assistance from Canada, where Martinelli hs is alleged to have manipulated share prices of Petequilla Mines on the stock exchange using an account in Financial Pacific , involving a group of local influence peddlers
The most advanced case is that of wiretapping 150 opposition politicians, journalists and businessmen. for which Martinelli was arrested on June 12 in Miami, where even a $10 million offer could not get him bail.
On August 30 Federal Judge Edwin Torres declared him extraditable and last week Martinelli marked his first 100 days behind bars. If he is tried and convicted in Panama he could face a sentence of up to 21 years.