January 29, 2023

Former Panamanian President Martinelli’s sons freed in US

Photo: JOHAN ORDONEZ / AFP

Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto, two sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, were released today (25th) after serving their sentences by a US court for accepting bribes from a multinational corporation.

“We confirm the release of Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares from the custody of the Office of Prisons. […] For good behavior,” the agency told AFP.

After their release, Luis Enrique and Ricardo Martinelli will be transferred to the offices of the US immigration service ICE, from where they will be “deported” to Panama for not having legal “status” in the US, a source said. . To the AFP before the court.

According to Carlos Carrillo, the Martinelli brothers’ attorney in Panama, the two will be free upon their return.

“There is bail money for their cases [pendentes] “Can’t be detained in Panama,” Carrillo told AFP.

The Martinelli brothers served two-and-a-half years of the three-year sentence imposed by a US court because their pre-trial detention, first in Guatemala and then in the United States, was waived pending sentencing.

In addition, they paid a US$250,000 fine for receiving US$28 million in bribes from Odebrecht, of which US$19 million was transferred through US accounts.

Returning to Panama, where they are expected in the next few hours, the brothers will face a trial with their father for the Odebrecht case and another “blue apple” scandal, a scheme to collect bribes to expedite contracts. Martinelli Government (2009-2014).

However, according to Carrillo, they “cannot be stopped” because they each paid US$ 7 million in bail: 2 million for the Odebrecht case and 5 million for “Blue Apple”.

However, even if they are free, they cannot leave the country and have to appear before the court summons for pending cases, the lawyer added.

The court responsible for the cases against the Martinellis recently denied bail to the two, but the High Court later overturned that action, after the defense appealed, Carrillo explained.

In New York, the brothers pleaded guilty to charges by the U.S. Attorney and held their father responsible for inciting them to commit the crimes.