Panama Tribunal Judge Clears Ex-President Martinelli from Corruption and Illegal Wiretapping Charges

  • Ex-President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, has been cleared of all charges related to illegal wiretapping around 150 people during his term as President from 2009-to-2014. The 67-year old veteran politician has also been acquitted of charges alleging use of public funds for recording private conversations of his political rivals. A tribunal judge said in the verdict that the prosecutors (who sought a 21-year prison term) failed to prove the alleged charges. The judge went on to raise “reasonable doubts” on the alleged accusations. The tribunal did recognize there have been “indications” that multiple activities were carried out “outside the law” in the National Security Council. However, it also observed that the questions were not solved. The tribunal judge has also lifted a ban on the ex-President of leaving the country. Martinelli was extradited from the US (where he was staying since 2015) in June 2018 to stand trial in Panama.