Two former presidents face money laundering hearing

Judge Baloiza Marquínez

1,371Views 0Comments Posted 12/09/2022

The Odebrecht case, one of the largest corruption cases in the country's history, began on Monday, September 12.

Prior to the hearing, the legal defense of former President Ricardo Martinelli announced that on February 3 they filed a challenge against Judge Baloiza Marquínez, based on lack of impartiality, and violation of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Prosecutor Ruth Morcillo stated that there are enough elements that will allow these former public officials to be sanctioned for profiting from state money.

In total, there are 48 persons and one legal entity charged with the crime of money laundering and corruption of public servants, for whom the Prosecutor's Office will request a summons to trial.

Former presidents
Among those who will be called to trial are former presidents Ricardo Martinelli and Juan Carlos Varela, among other former officials.

The investigation into the Odebrecht case in Panama was opened in 2015, was filed, then reopened in 2017, and ended in October 2018 with about 80 defendants. The file consists of 2,755 volumes with more than 1.1 million pages, according to data from the Judicial Branch.

The case was reopened after Odebrecht confessed in the United States that it had paid millions in bribes in a dozen countries, for which it was fined $2.6 billion.

The preliminary hearing should have started on July 18, but the absence of some defense attorneys prevented it, so it was rescheduled for an alternate date.