|Coat of Arms of Panama City|
Former president, Ricardo Martinelli, facing more than a dozen criminal cases in his native Panama, has made an eleventh-hour attempt to avoid extradition, by offering to pay large but unspecified sums of money to his victims. The former president's attorneys announced that Martinelli will meet with legal representatives of the victims of his illegal video and audio surveillance in Miami, to negotiate a settlement of the damages they suffered, when the country's national security apparatus illegally captured their private lives. It appears that he rightly fears imminent extradition.
Martinelli has also offered to make a public apology, but there is no mention of the former president serving any prison time for his crimes. He is seeking, literally, to evade justice by offering cash payments, but Panamanian reformers among his victims, who want Martinelli to face justice, and serve a lengthy incarceration, will most likely refuse, knowing he is close to extradition from the United States. Besides, the money he would use to pay them off is the proceeds of crime, and funds stolen from the people of Panama. In truth and in fact, accepting dirty money could constitute money laundering.