A Panamanian court has handed down a significant sentence of over 10 years in prison to former President Ricardo Martinelli for his involvement in money laundering.
The announcement was made by the country’s attorney general’s office, highlighting a case referred to as “new business,” which dates back to 2017. The charges against Martinelli pertain to financial crimes related to the acquisition of a news outlet.
In response to the sentence, Martinelli’s lawyer, Carlos Carrillo, expressed the defense’s intention to appeal the verdict and explore all available legal options. Despite the conviction, Carrillo emphasized that Martinelli’s candidacy for the upcoming 2024 presidential election remains strong.
There is sufficient time to challenge the verdict, allowing him to retain eligibility for the presidency.
Alongside the prison sentence, the court also imposed a substantial fine of $19.2 million on Mr. Martinelli. Despite the legal challenges ahead, Martinelli, who founded the Realizando Metas party two years ago, officially became the first candidate for Panama’s 2024 presidential election last month.
Luis Camacho, the former president’s spokesperson, expressed the team’s commitment to thoroughly analyze what they perceive as a legal assault on Mr. Martinelli.
The case has drawn significant attention in Panama, and the outcome will have profound implications for the country’s political landscape in the upcoming elections.
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