Eisenmann Proposes 'Special Public Prosecutor' for Odebrecht Case

Entrepreneur I. Roberto Eisenmann, one of founders of Panama’s newspaper La Prensa, has proposed that a special public prosecutor's office be created to collaborate in the investigation of Odebrecht.

Currently the investigation of the payment of bribes by the Brazilian construction company is  being carried out by the Public Ministry.

Esienmann has made this suggestion following a statement made by Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela, which was in favor of auditing the projects award to Odebrecht during his administration.
During the Varela administration Odebrecht has been awarded two major contracts: Line 2 of the Panama Metro and the Colón Urban Renewal project.

"The best thing would be for prosecutor, Kenia Porcell, to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Odebrecht outside the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Government, but it apparently is not in her plans," Eisenmann told the media.

Eisenmann proposes that the organized civil society, Technological University of Panama, Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama, Transparency International and even investigative journalists participate in this "special public prosecution".

Eisenmann also spoke to the evident dissatisfaction that exists among Panama’s citizens in relation to these investigations.

"People assume that the processes are not being carried out with the speed that is required because the government is involved, and the only way to solve this is for someone [separated from the state] to investigate correctly," he said.

Odebrecht representatives have confessed to the US Department of Justice that they have paid $ 788 million in bribes in several countries, including $ 59 million in Panama.

To date, the Special Anti-Corruption Office has investigated 17 people for the bribes paid by Odebrecht.