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US arrests former Panama president sought for extradition

/ 10:47 AM June 13, 2017
Ricardo Martinelli

In this March 24, 2017 file photo, Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli gestures during a meeting with Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City, Monday, March 24, 2014. U.S. authorities have arrested Monday June 12, 2017 former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli on an extradition warrant from his country. U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Manny Puri says Martinelli was in custody Monday evening at a federal detention center in Miami. He is accused of corruption and spying on opponents in Panama. AP

MIAMI — U.S. authorities have arrested former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli on an extradition warrant from his country.

U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Manny Puri said Martinelli was in custody Monday evening at a federal detention center in Miami. The former president was arrested earlier in the evening near his home in Coral Gables, Florida. He is accused of corruption and spying on opponents in Panama.

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Martinelli is expected to appear before a judge for an extradition hearing.

The former president from 2009-2014 has denied wrongdoing and contends the case was political persecution by his successor.

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In February, prosecutors in Panama also said they were seeking international help in detaining two of his sons in relation to an alleged scheme to launder bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

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TAGS: corruption, Crimes, Extradition, Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, Spying, United States, world
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