If you were wondering why the Government of Panama, having judicially determined some time ago that it is appropriate to extradite its former president, Ricardo Martinelli, has not followed through with the issuance of the appropriate documents, you are not alone. The answer may disturb you, but it is consistent with the country's problem: the systemic corruption, past, present & future, that Panama is drowning in.
You see, many of the members of the present, reformist government, now in power, were also either in the Martinelli administration, were linked to it, and the vast majority of the senior staff, including the sitting President, Juan Carlos Varela, also profited substantially from the use of inside information, in connection with the Petaquilla Gold Mine scandal. It's not just the Martinelli cabinet that made millions of illegal profits.
How can the Varela government allow Martinelli to be extradited, for he has promised, if put on trial, to expose all those who are as equally guilty as he is, in taking illegal stock profits, through trading with the benefit of non-public information, in the Petaquilla Mining/Financial Pacific matter. Whether this constitutes blackmail I leave to the experts in the laws of Panama.
One source has asserted that this threat was delivered by no less than Martinelli's primary criminal defense lawyer, Leonardo Paul Aparicio, who has actively sought to quash the pending proceedings, twice, through the use of procedural objections, which most lawyers would opine were presented solely for the purposes of delay. Attorney Paul has regularly visited Martinelli, at his Miami residence, and he is thought to be the lead member of the so-called Dream Team, assembled to block all efforts to return their client to stand trial in Panama.
|Leonardo Paul Aparicio|