Two former Panama presidents to face graft trial | Inquirer News

Two former Panama presidents to face graft trial

/ 07:26 AM November 09, 2022
People protest against alleged corruption cases in President Laurentino Cortizo's government, on the second anniversary of his administration in front of the National Assembly in Panama City, on July 1, 2021.

FILE PHOTO: People protest against alleged corruption cases in President Laurentino Cortizo’s government, on the second anniversary of his administration in front of the National Assembly in Panama City, on July 1, 2021. (Photo by Luis ACOSTA / AFP)

Panama City, Panama — A Panama court has ordered former presidents Ricardo Martinelli and Juan Carlos Varela to stand trial on charges of laundering money from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, a court document showed Tuesday.

Judge Baloisa Marquines opened a criminal case against the two former leaders for crimes “against the economic order in the form of money laundering,” read the trial summons.

ADVERTISEMENT

The two men, who collectively led Panama between 2009 and 2019, will be tried alongside 34 others, including five former ministers.

Two of Martinelli’s sons — who are both imprisoned in the United States after pleading guilty to receiving $28 million from Odebrecht — will also be tried.

FEATURED STORIES

The trial will run from August 1-18, 2023.

Prosecutors accuse Martinelli and Varela of using front companies and foreign bank accounts to receive funds from Odebrecht between 2008 and 2014.

In 2016, Odebrecht pled guilty in a Brooklyn court to paying more than $788 million in bribes to government officials and political parties, mainly in Latin America, to win infrastructure contracts.

The Brazilian company admitted paying bribes worth $59 million in Panama in exchange for contracts to build public works.

Odebrecht built Panama’s two metro lines, expanded Tocumen International Airport, and constructed Panama City’s ring road around its historic old quarter, among other multimillion-dollar projects.

According to the Public Prosecutor’s office, the company overbilled the Panamanian government for some of the projects.

RELATED STORIES:

Mexico’s ex-president Pena Nieto faces financial probe

Peruvian president to be investigated for influence peddling

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: corruption, graft trial, Money Laundering, Panama, world news
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.