The team of lawyers of former President of the Republic Juan Carlos Varela reiterated that the money received at the time for his candidacy for President and Vice President of the Republic and for the Panameñista Party, by the Odebrecht company, corresponded to political donations.
Lawyer Orison Cogley insisted that they were donations, contrary to what was indicated by anti-corruption prosecutors, who affirm that they were bribes.
Cogley denied that former President Varela has committed any of the behaviors established in the Penal Code for the crime of money laundering to be configured.
In addition, he indicated that these accounts of the party and the candidate were reported in the Electoral Court, for which he insisted that it is a merely electoral matter.
He also stressed that in this case there are no elements to indicate that his sponsor knew that this money came from the alleged commission of a crime of international bribery.
He specified that none of the three phases of money laundering behaviors took place, since there was no return or use of that money for private use, for which he asked Judge Baloisa Marquínez for the definitive dismissal of the former president.
Meanwhile, Erasmo Muñoz, also a lawyer for former President Varela, stated that this investigation against his client is contaminated, since it was against a Parlacen deputy, even though he has not been sworn in as such.
In the same way, I have requested the annulment of the process against his client, after pointing out that he was investigated in this case when he was President of the Republic.
He also requested the annulment of the file due to a clear lack of jurisdiction, considering that it is an exclusively electoral issue, and that the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office has recognized.
During the day, Jorge Luis Lau Cruz, Francisco José Pérez Ferreira’s lawyer, also spoke, reminding the judge that he previously filed an appeal to declare the criminal prescription in the case followed by money laundering against his client.
He argued that the facts for which his client is being investigated date back to August 2010 when he set up the company Aragon Finance Corp., and since that date, he indicated, 12 years have passed, and that the crime charged to his client establishes a sentence of two to four years in prison, for which the criminal action must be considered prescribed.
On the other hand, Lau Cruz denied that his client was the final beneficiary of an account in the name of this company and that he was only a nominal shareholder, that is, he was neither the owner nor benefited from the shares and had no rights. over them. .
He stated that when the brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares asked their client to manage two investment companies and banking portfolios abroad, their client did not see the request that he be the sole director or nominal shareholder as unusual.
He affirmed that the opening of the account was managed by Ferreira in Panama at the request of the Martinelli Linares brothers, “attaches the documentation and sends them to Switzerland, and the final beneficiaries in that account were identified from the beginning,” he stressed.
In this sense, Lau Cruz pointed out that his client clearly indicated that the beneficiaries were Ricardo and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares.
Meanwhile, Gladys Quintero, a lawyer for José Antonio Porta, former treasurer of the campaign of former presidential candidate José Domingo Arias, denied that the Arias campaign had received donations from the Odebrecht group.
“The donations were all reported to the Electoral Court and in none of these reported donations is there money from any company that is related to Odebrecht or any of its subsidiaries,” he said.
He argued that the political campaign of José Domingo Arias is not the same as the Cambio Democrático political campaign, and alluded to the existence of confessions by Mónina Moura who spoke of contributions to the Cambio Democrático campaign with the consent of Mr. André Rabello and in the presence of Mr. RM (Ricardo Martinelli).
Moura was one of the publicists for the presidential campaign of José Domingo Arias, during the 2014 presidential campaign, by the then ruling Democratic Change (CD) party, who in collaboration with the Public Ministry revealed that the cost of that campaign was agreed on $21 million, of which $16 million would be “donated” by Odebrecht.
After Quintero’s intervention, Judge Marquínez decreed a recess, so the hearing will be summarized today, Tuesday, from 9:00 am
So far, 23 of the 36 defense attorneys linked to this process have intervened. Of this group of lawyers who defend 49 defendants, 33 are private lawyers and 3 are public defenders.