“Varelaleaks” covers intrusion into Supreme Court.



The Executive’s interest in appointing in the Supreme Court of Justice persons who can serve the interests of the president in office, or his relatives, has prevailed in several government administrations.

Perhaps the subject has not been exposed as fluently as in the case of the conversations of the then president Juan Carlos Varela with several members of his cabinet and close people, because until now he was buried by the interveners themselves.

In Varelaleaks.com , however, it is evident how the Executive interfered in judicial matters, in the decisions that were to be issued by the Supreme Court, with which magistrates the president spoke, or through whom he did, who was his link in this Court.

In the conversation between Varela and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Dulcidio De La Guardia, the apparent intestinal struggles between magistrates of the Supreme Court come to light.

In the communications published on Varelaleaks.com there are fragments in which it is observed that the minister intended to set up a process in the Credentials Committee of the National Assembly to unseat magistrates José Ayú Prado and Luis Ramón Fábrega.

The head of state finances had a letter that Judge Harry Diaz had presented before the Commission against the assistants, for the alleged crimes of abuse of authority and violation of public duties, for having extended information necessary to notify former president Ricardo Martinelli on an accusation against him.

“I affirm categorically that there was overreach of functions. The Assembly must use this to remove those two corrupt. It is the perfect tool, ”said De La Guardia. This denotes an intense struggle between two supposed sides: those who supposedly tipped the scales in favor of former President Martinelli, the magistrates who were in charge of the case of the ‘punctures’ followed by the former governor, in addition, and the undecided positions of the rest of the magistrates.

“HD (Harry Diaz) tells me that (Cecilio) Cedalise wants to use this to get him out of Ricardo Martinelli’s case,” De La Guardia reported to Varela, and attached an amparo of guarantees that would be discussed in the plenary of the Court, presented by Cedalise against Díaz.

During the Varela administration, it became clear how the Executive was looking for something in exchange for appointments. It seems that this happened in the case of Cecilio Cedalise and Ángela Russo.

Varela may have expected both lawyers to follow the “line” of the Executive, but fidelity was put to the test when both magistrates showed their position in trying to grant freedom to former Martinelli, either on bail or a precautionary measure other than preventive detention, when the case for telephone interceptions was under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Justice. On several occasions Varela struck with the magistrates of the Court to prevent Martinelli from benefiting.

In the alleged conversation that Varela had with the solicitor Kenia Porcell, the intermediary that Varela sent to speak with the magistrates, Rolando López, appears; In addition, a clear interference of the Executive in the affairs of the Court is revealed.

“RL (possibly Rolando López, then director of the Security Council) feels that he has 4 votes, Sáenz (Wilfredo, substitute for Harry Díaz), Zamorano (Abel, magistrate), Carrasco (Luis Mario, substitute for Jerónimo Mejía) and Oydén Ortega Cedalise (Cecilio) would be missing, ”Varela told Porcell.

“And Russo (Angela)?” She asks.

“He has to work it too,” Varela replied.

In August 2018, Porcell comments to Varela: “Right now, entering the Supreme Court is a harakiri.”

To which Varela indicated: “only talk to Z (supposedly Zamorano), and message to Cedalise. Lopez sees that, which is what informs. ”

“But no one goes to the Judicial Branch, you have to take care of yourself, people are bad,” Porcell advises.

“Because right now they will hit him if they see CSN in the cameras and filter them to Panama America,” Porcell warns.

“They meet on the Council with Z,” Varela said.

This situation is repeated in the conversation with Rolando López.

On October 15, 2018, the director of the CSN reports to Varela that the magistrates of the Court still do not want to decide on the precautionary measure that former President Martinelli had requested.

“I hope they don’t crack. Zamorano says that the pod is hard, ”said the director

“If they measure it, they will look bad with the country,” Varela replied.

Half an hour later, López informed the president: “The boss doesn’t come out.”

“Excellent, how was the vote?” He asked.

The message that he would not leave with precautionary measure had been sent by magistrate Cedalise, although López confesses that he does not trust him. He backs it up with a screenshot of Cedalise’s cell phone, who told him he was not leaving Martinelli prison. A few minutes later, the information would be confirmed by magistrate Zamorano. On that occasion, the vote was 6 to 3.

Approve the magistrates

Some conversations also show Varela’s special interest in Zuleyka Moore and Ana Lucrecia Tovar, two nominees for the post of magistrates of the Supreme Court, were approved by the National Assembly in early January 2018.

To do this, he asked his closest collaborators to spread messages on the networks in favor of the prefabricated ones so that they could pass the first filter of the Credentials Committee of the National Assembly and the majority of votes in plenary.

Varela added several ministers to this cause, according to the talks on Varelaleaks.com.

When the president appointed prosecutor Moore and Tovar as magistrates of the Supreme Court, Minister De La Guardia told President Varela that he had asked for the support of magistrate Harry Diaz, even before being ratified by the Assembly, to vote for please one of them to become president of the Court.

The Star of Panama consulted Diaz about this supposed promised vote. “It is out of context, because I would not vote for anyone who has just come to Court to be President. By simple logic you must have experience, ”said the magistrate whose term in the Court ends at the end of this December. He added that he had told magistrate Zamorano that he was going to vote for him as president of the Court, but finally the vote was never taken because they rejected the candidates.

However, Díaz clarified to this newspaper that if he had to choose between Ayú Prado and a new magistrate, “he would obviously have voted with the new one.”

At another time, in December 2017, De La Guardia learned that Judge Ayú Prado was planning to vote with seven magistrates, on January 3, 2018, to elect the new president of the highest justice corporation.

In another matter, Varela was also aware of the comments that were spilled on the networks, especially those related to Attorney Porcell. On one occasion, he scolded De La Guardia for a comment that Ricardo Zubieta, the minister’s right hand, made on his Facebook account, in which he questioned the work of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and described as “chambonada” in criminal cases.

“He already knows what he has to do,” Varela told the minister.

The relationship with Ayú Prado

In the Varelaleaks.com there is a supposed conversation between Judge Ayú Prado, president of the Judicial Branch, and Varela, in which the former informs the president about the situation of some high-profile cases in the Judicial Branch, bonds, detentions provisional, convictions, sentences, in high profile cases.

In early February 2017, Judge Ayú Prado informs Varela about a hearing in which an alleged offender was released for the murder charge. Explain the actions of the Public Ministry, and somehow, try to decipher why the alleged offender was free. “The Public Ministry did not ask for practice tests, but intervened when the Defense presented theirs. The victims of the attempted homicide were defenders of the lawyer Holland Polo, known for having defended DVR before (possibly David Viteri) and the Public Ministry did not oppose or do anything. ”

“It has looked very strange,” Varela replies, “the most agile process is of this lord so wanted and is free,” he claims.

In April, Ayú Prado tells him about the situation in the case of diethylene glycol: “I think you should not find out through the media or networks, 11 people were called to trial in the case”.

Ayú Prado’s report is complete, it gives the count of the rulings, the convicted, the sentences of each one, in which instances they occurred and which magistrates agreed with the convictions.

The president thanks the information and tells him that the whole country would be aware of the case of soccer player Amílcar Henríquez the next day, “and I hope the prosecutors armen have everything well.”

“About Columbus I am praying loudly and trying to be heard praying and others pray with me,” replies the magistrate.

On April 17, Ayú sends him the news. It is the ruling in which they revoke the provisional release and declared preventive detention of the three minors involved in the tragic event.

He then notifies him that the complaint filed by lawyer Carlos Herrera Morán against thirteen deputies was not admitted unanimously.

On April 21, 2017 he informed him about the bond granted to the lawyers of the firm Mossack Fonseca via the Second Superior Court syndicated for alleged crime of money laundering, and set an amount of $ 500 thousand for each. He also notified him of the bond granted to Manuel Morales Diez, director of HPC Contracts, which was investigated in the case of the Savings Bank.

Ayú Prado invites the president to have coffee with the consent that Luis Ramón Fábrega and Cecilio Cedalise would participate if the president agrees.

Varela tells him that the meeting would be at 5:30, it’s August 2017.

The conversation culminates with the photo of the letter of resignation of Judge Ayú Prado to the position of President of the Court, as of February 1, 2018.

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