Panama, April 17. The trial in the “New Business” case, the alleged money laundering of a millionaire for the purchase of a media conglomerate involving former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), was postponed this Monday to May 23, official sources told EFE.

The decision comes after the defense filed two appeals: an accusation against the judge in charge of the case, Baloisa Marquinez, and an appeal against the trial order, so that the trial will be held between May 23 and the June 5. , the alternative date set previously.

“We claim the lack of equality of the parties,” Luis Eduardo Camacho González, who is part of former President Martinelli’s legal team, told EFE of the fact that the judge denied more than fifty elements of evidence presented by them last week. .

“While the public prosecutor’s office (prosecution) presents all the evidence it deems appropriate”, Martinelli’s defense is “denied the possibility” of providing “certain important evidence” for its strategy, González explained.

And he added that “based on that, we have appealed and we ask the superior court to revoke the decision in this case and admit the evidence for trial.”

This Monday, former President Martinelli and twenty other people were expected to face Panamanian justice for the alleged crime of money laundering, characterized by law between 5 and 12 years in prison.

This case, known as “New Business”, is linked to the 2010 takeover of the media conglomerate Grupo Editorial Epasa, of which Martinelli was allegedly the majority shareholder, through alleged money laundering involving a dozen local banks in Switzerland, China and the United States.

According to the prosecution’s investigations, the funds were transferred through a complex scheme of 43.9 million dollars to buy the publishing group, an amount of which until 2019 had managed to recover “9.2 million in shares”.

Martinelli’s legal team filed sick leave for the former president and other types of legal remedies in previous trials and hearings to allegedly delay the start of legal proceedings.

In the so-called “Pinchazos” case, in which the former president was acquitted in two trials for having allegedly intercepted the communications of more than a hundred people, the Panamanian justice system indicated that it had used “delaying tactics”.


Former President Martinelli is among 36 people called to appear on money laundering charges, including former President Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019), in the Odebrecht corruption case next August.

In the Odebrecht case, Latin America’s biggest corruption scandal, Martinelli’s two sons Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique were convicted in the United States after pleading guilty to participating in the money laundering and bribery scheme. money tied to the Brazilian construction company.

In addition to the cases in Panama, former President Martinelli is being investigated in Spain for alleged corruption for bribes that the Spanish construction company FCC admitted to having paid in Panama, and for a another alleged espionage of a woman in Mallorca, in the Spanish Mediterranean.

Martinelli has publicly stated that he will run for president again in the 2024 general election and argues the corruption cases are a campaign against him to undermine his political career. EFE



Categorized in: