The efforts of counsel for Ricardo Martinelli, the fugitive ex-president of the Republic of Panama, to obtain bond yesterday, during his pending extradition proceedings, were thwarted when the Court declined to immediately rule on his bond request. A motion to dismiss the extradition was similarly deferred, though the judge indicated that there would be a ruling next week.
Martinelli faces massive corruption and illegal surveillance charges in his native Panama, which is abuzz with rumors that he is either cooperating with US law enforcement, or intends to cooperate, something which could implicate the country's current president, Juan Carlos Varela, several members of his cabinet, and a number of judges on the Supreme Court of Justice. Bond is rarely given during extradition proceedings, due to the risk of flight. Martinelli's reported wealth, due to corruption, is not known, but has been estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Martinelli was reportedly taken into custody at a waterfront mansion he allegedly purchased for $8m cash, since he relocated to Miami, ahead of the filing of criminal charges in Panama. He has at least thirteen separate criminal cases filed against him there; One source claims that there are over two hundred independent investigations of criminal conduct pending at this time.