Just when you thought you'd seen everything in Panamanian politics, a bribe of huge proportions makes one reconsider how low things have sunk to in the Republic of Panama. In what must qualify as the most arrogant offer of the year to date, former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, facing several newly-filed criminal charges against him in his country, has boldly and openly offered a seven million dollar bribe to the first Panamanian magistrate or Supreme Court Judge to dismiss all pending cases. His offer extended to all the members of the judiciary, which has infuriated Panamanians, who have called for his arrest, conviction & imprisonment.
The bribe, which if accepted and deliver upon, would operate to relieve Martinelli of all liability for his massive corruption, abuse of power, and money laundering offenses, was conveyed to disgraced former Supreme Court chief, Moncada Luna, and it was discussed, at length, by his attorney, on national radio today. Such an offer constitutes an additional criminal offense under Panama law, and is also actionable before the International Criminal Court.
Martinelli, whose supporters have carefully constructed a fictional "itinerary" saying that he is presently in Miami, and will tour the United States in the coming days, continues to assert his innocence, alleging that he has been charged with multiple crimes for purely political purposes. He is believed to be living in Paraguay.