Desempolvan case linked to the complaint of the Ministry of Security by Odebrecht
A new chapter of the Odebrecht case is being written, now related to the complaint filed by the then Minister of Public Security, Alexis Bethancourt , in 2017 .
Judge Óscar Carrasquilla endorses the State’s lawsuit against Odebrecht
The State becomes a victim
The magistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice Cecilio Cedalise must decide whether to endorse or reject a judgment of a court that considered that the State can be a plaintiff, because “it is presumed” an affectation, not only through its institutions, but also its banking and corporate system, since the crime of money laundering affects the image and the economy of the country. The appeal against the judge’s decision was presented by the defense of Ricardo Martinelli Linares.
On February 20, 2017, the then Minister of Public Security, Alexis Bethancourt, went to the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office to file a complaint against those responsible for the crimes against the economic order, the public administration and any other resulting, product of the investigations related to bribes paid by Odebrecht in Panama.
The prosecution admitted the appeal, but lawyers Carlos Carrillo and Marcela Araúz filed a legal action before the Twelfth Criminal Court, under Óscar Carrasquilla. They opposed the admission of the complaint. They represented Ricardo Martinelli Linares, son of former president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014); and Riccardo Francolini, former president of the board of directors of the Savings Bank.
Revive a state complaint by Odebrecht
Judge Carrasquilla denied the appeal. He argued that “in this process an affectation to the State is presumed, not only through its ministerial institutions, but in its banking and corporate system”.
Carrasquilla also explained that the crime of money laundering, “affects the image of the country and its economy,” so the State, he added, “can become a complainant.”
The judge issued his verdict in a ruling of October 2, 2018. But the flow of resources that has surrounded the investigation, puts the case once again in the public arena.
The defense of Martinelli Linares now went to the Supreme Court of Justice, to invalidate the judge’s decision. He filed an amparo of constitutional guarantees against that sentence.
The appeal was left to the magistrate Cecilio Cedalise, who must decide whether or not to accept the petition of the ex-claimant’s son.
Ricardo and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares were arrested in the United States on November 20, 2018, since – according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service of the Department of National Security of that country – their visas were revoked in 2017, and since then they had been “illegally” in that nation. They were both in the Krome detention center for more than 15 days, where a judge granted them $ 1 million in release bonds each.
The secretary general of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Rolando Rodríguez, recently assured that the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office maintains the request for a red alert made to Interpol for the capture of Ricardo Martinelli Linares and his brother Luis Enrique for the Odebrecht case. The investigations detail that they would have received, at least, $ 53 million of the bribes paid by Odebrecht.
The mission of the Minister of Security
Jun 24 2019 – 00: 00h
On February 14, 2017, when the Odebrecht case shook the country, the Cabinet Council entrusted the then Minister of Security, Alexis Bethancourt, to file a criminal complaint on behalf of the State, against those responsible for the bribes paid by Odebrecht in Panama.