And second son of the former chairman of Panama Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) wanted on USA for money laundering, issued yesterday Friday since its inception Guatemala, where he was imprisoned, found the French Agency and confirmed an official source.
The extradition of Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares came about a month after that of his brother Luis Enrique, also charged in the same case, in the corruption scandal of Odebrecht, the large Brazilian construction company that has swept the political scene in recent years. order in Latin America.
Ricardo Alberto, 42, was transferred from a prison east of the capital to a Guatemalan Air Force base in a car with tinted windows, AFP reporters reported.
An official source confirmed a few hours later that the son of the former president of Panama boarded a flight that departed for the USA.
The two brothers were arrested on July 6, 2020, at Guatemala airport as they tried to return to Panama on a private jet carrying a humanitarian flight.
They were wanted by US justice, who accused them of being involved in the corruption ring of Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which distributed “more than $ 700 million” in bribes to Panamanian government officials in exchange for state compensation. More specifically, they are said to be involved in the transfer of $ 28 million to secret bank accounts with beneficiary companies-ghosts.
On November 16, the federal court in Brooklyn, New York, rejected the request for the release of Luis Enrique on restrictive terms.
Panama had also demanded the extradition of the Martinelli brothers for another corruption scandal known as the “blue potato”, but Guatemalan law stipulates that priority be given to the country that applied for extradition first, in this case to the United States, according to with the prosecutor.
Their father, former President Martinelli, is also facing charges over the Odebrecht scandal. Nevertheless, the former head of state, who maintains a certain popularity, has announced his intention to run for re-election to the highest office of his country in the 2024 presidential elections.
The Odebrecht scandal swept leaders and political parties in several Latin American countries. Former Brazilian construction workers have admitted in court that they illegally distributed millions of dollars in bribes to secure government contracts in exchange for public works.