Ignacio Fabrega de Obarrio, the former Supervisor of Panama's securities regulator, the SMV, has fled the country, notwithstanding that his prior conditional release to house arrest was revoked, and an arrest warrant issued against him. Fabrega, considered by investigators to have the most first-hand knowledge of the full extent of the involvement of senior government ministers in taking huge profits, in the Petaquilla Mining insider trading case, is considered to be a critical witness in the scandal. There are other witnesses available, but Fabrega, who quashed all the investigations initiated against Financial Pacific, and who delivered confidential information about the investigation, to the company's leadership, would have been a key part of any future trials.
A judge ordered his release, although he was clearly not qualified to bond out, under Panamanian law, which demonstrates that the country's utterly corrupt judicial system remains. Whether he will be taken into custody again remains to be seen, though he may have been allowed to leave Panama, due to the fact that he possessed incriminating information, regarding widespread violations of securities laws, against a number of prominent, and powerful, Panamanians, some of whom reportedly paid him large bribes to decline to pursue investigations by his agency.