Prosecution will request precautionary measure for Martinelli

1,065Views 7Comments Posted 22/11/2020

After the ruling of the Superior Court of Appeals that annulled the sentence that declared former president Ricardo Martinelli not guilty of illegal wiretapping lawyers for the complainant victims will ask to apply precautionary measures to the former president, to guarantee his appearance at the new trial.

David Cuevas, the lawyer for Rosendo Rivera, Rubén Polanco, and Juan Carlos Navarro, said that after the ruling made known last Friday, the plaintiffs in this process have reached a consensus to request a precautionary measure against Martinelli, to prevent him from evading the new trial

Lawyer Carlos Herrera, Mauro Zúñiga's lawyer, also agreed on the need to request a hearing to apply a precautionary measure to Martinelli.

Meanwhile, Ricaurte González, who acted as prosecutor, said he was satisfied with the decision taken by the Superior Court of Appeals.  was also in favor of discussing whether a precautionary measure is possible for the accused.

Martinelli was detained in preventive custody for a year in El Renacer, until June 12, 2019. He was then imposed house arrest, lifted on August 9, 2019.

Before that, he spent a year in prison in Miami, awaiting extradition.

The cause invoked by the Court of Appeals of to annul the decision to declare former President Ricardo Martinelli “not guilty” is supported by the third point of article 172, of the Criminal Procedure Code: in the pronouncement of the sentence of the August 9, an "erroneous application of the law" was made, which substantially influenced the ruling.

Although Ronniel Ortiz, from Martinelli's legal team, indicated that they will use all available legal resources, other lawyers consider that there is no room for appeals against the decision of the Court of Appeals, and what follows now is to set the date of the new trial.

Former judge Raúl Olmos believes that the most that the defense could aspire to appease the court's decision is to request a clarification of the sentence or present constitutional guarantee protection before the Supreme Court, alleging the violation of any right.

But first, the Judicial Office of the Accusatory Criminal System (SPA) is required to notify the parties and set a date for the new trial.

However, the SPA has already shown few signs of speed in this regard. In the list of hearings, dates have been set up to 2022, even 2024. This fact, according to Olmos, indicates that there would be no short-term date.

It is for this reason that Carlos Herrera Morán, the lawyer for Mauro Zúñiga, one of the victims of the punctures, argued that the Judicial Organ must take the necessary precautions to prevent delays that lead to impunity in such an important case. Up to 150 people were affected by the interceptions carried out by the National Security Council (CSN), in the last two years of the Martinelli government.

Herrera Morán described the ruling of the Superior Court of Appeals as historic since it showed that judges Roberto Tejeira, Arlene Caballero and Raúl Vergara made a poor assessment of the evidence endorsed by Jerónimo Mejía, when he served as a magistrate judge of guarantees, from 2015 to 2018.

According to Herrera Morán, the recent ruling reveals that in the administration of justice there is a group of judges who adhere to the Constitution and the law, and another “genuflexer”, who moves away from independence.

Herrera Morán requested the audio allegedly with the voice of the former president, which circulates on social networks, be investigated, in which it is ensured that the Court of Appeals changed its decision hours before the order to call a new trial was made public. This will be done with three new judges who will be selected by the SPA Judicial Office, through a lottery.

The prosecutor in the Ricaurte González case assured that now everything returns to the beginning and the interrogations made in the 2019 trial must be practiced again.

González, although he is assigned to the Intellectual Property Prosecutor's Office, acts as a prosecutor for this case, which he advanced when he was in charge of the Second Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime.

According to Ortiz, the process against the ex-president has a political origin and "as well as the manipulation of evidence during the first trial, they will do it the second time." He alleges that the protected witness was manipulated and trusts that all this will be weighed up by the new judges.