Swiss investigators, seeking information and evidence about Panama's ex-president, Ricardo Martinelli, are reporting that their efforts have been marred by extensive delays. The Swiss inquiries, which were delivered to the Supreme Court of Justice, have not been answered, and local sources have stated that the blame lies squarely in the lap of the President of the Court, Judge José Ayú Prado, who allegedly has delayed sending any material in response to the requests.
Prado's close ties to former President Martinelli are well known. While in office, Martinelli took a number of trips to Lugano, in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, and he reportedly has had a long relationship with a number of the Swiss financial institutions there, which predated his presidency. Swiss banks are believed to have figured, as recipients of illicit bribes and kickbacks, in certain Panamanian government contracts, with Italian companies, that have been exposed by the authorities in Italy. Martinelli allegedly accepted multi-million dollar payments to direct business to certain firms in Italy.