Martinellli back in Panama

Ex President Ricardo Martinelli arrived yesterday in Panama in the morning and was immediately transferred to the El Renacer jail for his alleged crimes against the country.

The  plenary established that Mr. Martinelli was  danger of flight’’ and they would hear testimonies from four doctors who  will examine him in jail.

The defense demanded that the ex-president be admitted to a private hospital. Martinelli took the floor and the first thing he told the court was that they were  in violation of his rights. "Four doctors have certified that I can not be in El Renacer, I have to be in a private hospital,". At one point, he said he "probably" has prostate cancer. He also claimed that he has high blood pressure and had had four stents  implanted.

His lawyer Carlos Carrillo presented a diplomatic note from the US State Department, which stating that Martinelli needed to receive medical treatment for several illnesses during his confinement at the Federal Detention Center in Miami. In this note, lawyer Carlos Carrillo said, a "complete physical examination upon arrival in Panama was  recommended so that he may receive the appropriate treatment."

"If something happens to me, I will  hold you all  responsible," said Martinelli, who on several occasions raised his hands to his head and closed his eyes.

The attitude shown to Mejía contrasted with that of his arrival at the Supreme Court. He entered smiling, waving, with arms raised. On one of his wrists hung handcuffs. The prisoner uniform with which he arrived from Miami was replced by jeans and a light blue short sleeve polo shirt. He was taken from El Renacer rehabilitation center to the Supreme Court, where he arrived at 4:15 p.m. accompanied by several police officers and an ambulance.

Balbina Herrera tried  to enter the Supreme Court  where the hearing was being  held. Herrera appeared surrounded by people, mostly supporters of Martinelli.

The hearing was convened at 5:00 pm; finally started at 6:11 pm Almost an hour and a half later, Mejía ordered a recess.

The hearing also involved the fiscal magistrate Harry Diaz , who asked for a 21-year prison sentence for the former president for the following crimes: interception of telecommunications without judicial authorization; monitoring, prosecution and surveillance without judicial authorization and embezzlement

Mejía confirmed  that Martinelli’s preventive detention year in preventive detention will start  "to be computed" as of Monday, June 11th, 2018.  They are not recognizing  the 364 days that the former president was detained in Miami, waiting to be extradited to Panama.