U.S. Extradites Ex-Panama Leader Back Home for Trial

13 June, 2018, 20:44 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Panama’s former president to be extradited home Monday: lawyer

"This extradition is a testament to the Department of Justice's commitment to honoring our extradition treaty obligations", Cronan said.

Mr Martinelli is being sent to the same prison where Panama's former military leader, General Manuel Noriega, spent the last years of his life.

Martinelli, 66, was charged with misappropriation of public funds, and in the pardon of the prisoners in exchange for bribes. He claims the charges are false claims from political enemies. "I especially thank the hard-working attorneys and worldwide affairs specialists in the Office of global Affairs, as well as our partners in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District Florida, for their tireless efforts in support of this extradition".

The International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, issued a warrant for Martinelli Berrocal's arrest in May 2017.


Judge Edwin Torres determined the extradition of Martinelli on August 31 in a 93-page ruling, because 'it satisfies all the legal requirements, ' and that verdict was later ratified by his colleague Marcia G. Cooke. The court denied his petition in January 2018.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that it is up to Panamanian courts to determine Martinelli's guilt.

Martinelli's attorney Roniel Ortiz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. government has agreed to extradite former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli to his home country to face political espionage and embezzlement charges. Under this council, a "Special Services" unit carried out confidential activities at the president's direction, including the unsanctioned intercept and recording of communications from the cell phones and computers of Martinelli's identified targets. Martinelli had initially contested his extradition in the United States but dropped his appeals.

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