The Supreme Courtroom of Panama rejected former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli’s enchantment submission for his cash laundry conviction on Friday, to which Martinelli responded by informing his followers on X (previously Twitter) that he could be operating alongside his operating mate José Raúl Mulino for this yr’s Might election, regardless of the courtroom’s ruling.
Martinelli was president of Panama in 2009 and 2014. In 2015, the Panama Electoral Tribunal lifted prosecution immunity granted to presidents within the nation, permitting a corruption investigation to start. In 2018, the US extradited Martinelli to Panama for unlawful surveillance claims.
Final yr, Martinelli was sentenced to 128 months in jail and a $19 million nice for cash laundering within the 2017 case now coined as “New Enterprise.” New Enterprise was the title of the shell firm utilized by Martinelli to buy native media group Epasa through public funds. Beneath the New Enterprise account, corporations that had signed profitable authorities bids would deposit cash. Martinelli used this cash to buy the media group.
In line with the Constitution of Panama, one who’s convicted of a criminal offense and sentenced to 5 years or extra of imprisonment can’t run for president. Martinelli, on X, re-affirmed his innocence, claiming he’s being politically prosecuted.
With the enchantment rejected, the case is taken into account closed. In a matter of days, the courtroom’s anticipated official discover of the enchantment will probably be delivered to the presiding choose who sentenced Martinelli, who will then notify the Nationwide Police of the arrest.
Martinelli’s conviction follows his son’s arrest in New York City for bribery and cash laundering within the Odebrecht scandal.