The lawyers representing the fugitive former President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, have sunk to a new low, in their desperate search to confer immunity from criminal prosecution upon their beleaguered client. The Electoral Tribunal (TE) has previously suspended the immunity Martinelli tenuously held, as a brand-new member of the Central American Parliament.
This week, Martinelli Attorney Sydney Sitton requested a court date to discuss the issue of immunity for Martinelli, pursuant to a Panamanian law that extends immunity for candidates for senior office in a political party. Martinelli was previously the president of Cambio Democratico (CD), Democratic Change Party, and there are rumors that he will run again for that office.
Martinelli, who has remained hidden since he left office, and faces multiple criminal charges. What appears to be yet another cheap trick may delay his criminal prosecution, but the groundswell of public opinion, which wants to see Martinelli face justice for his crimes, has dominated the Panamanian domestic political scene since January; Panamanians want his head. Will the Court even consider attorney Sitton's brazen request ? We cannot say, but if it holds that he has immunity, the Panamanian street may violently object; Bear that in mind.