Varela and buddies got “fat” on the take under Martinelli rule, and then went full hypocrite.


The Odebrecht case took a new momentum this week with the decision of the Public Ministry (MP) to investigate figures close to former President Juan Carlos Varela , including the detention of former Panamanian deputy Jorge Alberto Rosas.

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Prosecutor orders the arrest of former deputy Jorge Alberto RosasProsecutor’s office investigates former deputy Jorge Alberto Rosas for the Odebrecht case Formerdeputy Jorge Alberto Rosas, cited for the third time in the Odebrecht caseOnce again the shadow of Odebrecht is cast on Jaime LassoJaime Lasso, without caution for the Odebrecht case

MP sources reported that the 5-month and eight-day extension granted by the First Superior Court to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to conclude the investigations, which began on January 18, 2017, began running since January 29. That is, it would expire next August, unless a court decides otherwise.

Last Monday, Zuleyka Moore , the former ambassador of Panama in South Korea, Jaime Lasso , who had received $ 10 million from Odebrecth who had arrived at the Panamanian Party, appeared before the office of prosecutor Zuleyka Moore . Judicial sources said they provided relevant information that could lead to an effective penalty or collaboration agreement.

In contrast, Rosas, who is being investigated for the funds that his law firm would have received from Odebrecht, failed in its attempt to curb the investigation on the grounds that Moore could not act until legal remedies were resolved against the extension. When he went to the MP last Thursday and accepted the right not to testify against himself, Moore ordered his arrest.

At the same time, an accountant required by these investigations involving Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, sons of Ricardo Martinelli, was arrested in Uruguay.

Read here: Case Odebrecht Switzerland gains momentum again

Prosecutor’s Office, open to a new penalty agreement

The Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office keeps the doors open to agree on penalty or effective collaboration agreements within the investigations related to the payment scheme for former officials and individuals by Odebrecht in Panama.

One of the defendants with whom one of these agreements could be reached is Panama’s former ambassador to South Korea and member of the Panamanian Party, Jaime Lasso, sources linked to the process reported.

Officially from the Public Ministry have not confirmed this information. But they warn that “that possibility is never closed.”

A new air for the Odebrecht case

This, after Lasso has responded to the prosecution on the issue of at least 10 million dollars of Odebrecth that would have gone to the Panamanian Party, through several societies. Lasso’s version, according to sources, is that the funds would have gone to the hands of suppliers, media, advertising and services associated with the party’s campaigns.

Lasso has attended to give his investigative statement on Thursday 13 and Monday 24 February. Prosecutor Zuleyka Moore asked for details of her estate and the links of André Rabello , former superintendent of Odebrecht in Panama with high-ranking figures of the Panamanian Party, a political collective that took Juan Carlos Varela to the Presidency of the Republic for the period 2014-2019.

Rabello, as you will remember, is one of those who reached agreements with the Public Ministry (see infographic).

A new air for the Odebrecht case

Lasso has also acknowledged before the prosecution that for the second half of 2009 he promoted a meeting between Rabello and the then Panamanian deputy José Luis Popi Varela , brother of ex-president Juan Carlos Varela.

Research sources point out that Popi Varela would have made herself available to the construction company to help her in the projects she was running in Panama.

At that time, Juan Carlos Varela was part of the government of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) as Vice President of the Republic and Chancellor.

In those days, Odebrecht obtained the contract for the urban renewal of Curundú, a work that started at $ 94.3 million and ended at $ 107.5 million.

Another figure of the Panamanian political collective that had to appear before the prosecution was former deputy Jorge Alberto Rosas.

He did so on Thursday, February 20 after being absent twice, alleging that prosecutor Moore could not advance proceedings until remedies promoted by some of the defendants attacking the 5-month and 8-day extension granted on January 6 were resolved. by the First Superior Court of Justice

But for the Prosecutor’s Office, the term began to run since January 29 and, therefore, is empowered to continue. In fact, when Rosas went to the investigation and accepted article 25 of the Constitution, which allows every person not to testify against himself in a criminal matter, he was arrested. From the night of Thursday, February 20, he remained in a cell of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation of the National Police, in Ancón, until yesterday, when he was transferred to the El Renacer Prison.

Rosas’s relationship with the Odebrecht case was initially investigated by the Supreme Court in 2017, as he was a deputy.

For that year, Juan Carlos Rosas O’Donnell and Rosa Mari Molino Paz, majority shareholder and co-administrator, respectively, of the firm Rosas & Rosas, pointed to Rosas – also a partner of the firm – as the person who managed the professional relationship within the signature with Odebrecht.

Said law firm received 10 payments for almost 5 months – between July 5, 2010 and November 23 of the same year – for an amount of at least 2.1 million dollars, from the account that the International Construction Company of the Sur, SA kept Credicorp Bank, this money that came from the so-called Odebrecht Box 2, normally used by the Brazilian company to channel the payment of bribes abroad.

On the other hand, the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor handles an extradition request for Maya Cikurel Spiller, arrested in Uruguay on Wednesday, February 19.

Cikurel Spiller, who is the partner of the designated Minister of Education and Culture of Uruguay, is linked to the Odebrecht Switzerland case, which directly involves Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares.

Odebrecht Switzerland is one of the lines of investigation within the Odebrecht case, which started in 2017 and already has about a thousand volumes.

In Panama, Spiller has charges for the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering. In June 2019, La Prensa published that his name was among the nine people who were pending to appear before the prosecution in this case. It is linked to the company Arcadex Corp., through which the construction company would have paid bribes to the children of former President Martinelli. Arcadex Corp. was created in Uruguay, but is based in Belize.

This process, now described as a complex and organized crime, has involved 122 international assistance to different jurisdictions such as Brazil, Andorra, Principality of Monaco, United States, Switzerland, Virgin Islands, Spain, Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and United Kingdom.

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