The Attorney General of Panama, Kenia Porcell, has announced that seventeen individuals, all former government officials and private local businessmen, have been charged with money laundering, in the Odebrecht $59m public corruption case. Ex-President Ricardo Martinelli's two sons, Ricardo Alberto, and Luis Enrique, are among those charged.
The question Panamanians are asking is: will the two sons ever see the inside of a Panamanian courtroom ? Reports abound that they received advance notice of the charges, and fled Spain, where they were residing, for Miami, where their fugitive father has lived openly since January 2015. The former president of Panama has not been extradited, and most experienced observers of the Miami scene believe that he must be under the protection of an unnamed US law enforcement agency, or a certain intelligence service, because the US State Department has neither extradited him, nor explained why no court proceedings have been initiated, on the Panamanian warrant, which has been in washington since September. The Department of Justice has a dark history, when it comes to matters that it classifies as National Security, such as the total lack of prosecutions, in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) case. Is it stonewalling the Martinelli extradition ?
Was Ricardo Martinelli a confidential informant while serving as president of Panama ? We recall that Manuel Noriega maintained a long relationship with the CIA, while serving as a senior military officer, and wonder how Martinelli, known to have received millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks while president, was able to enter & live in the US, unless he was assisting an American agency, in some capacity. Does he have immunity from prosecution in the United States, and will he, and his sons, follow in the tradition of former corrupt Latin American leaders, and live out their lives in the lap of luxury, in Miami ? Where's the justice in that ?