|Coat of Arms, Guatemala 1825-1843|
The two sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, RICARDO ALBERTO MARTINELLI LINARES and LUIS ENRIQUE MARTINELLI LINARES are opposing their extradition from Guatemala to face money laundering and bribery charges in the United States. They were out on bond in the United States on Immigration charges, after having been arrested in Miami.
The brothers have asserted diplomatic immunity, through the Central American Parliament
(PARLACEN) of which they claim to be substitute (alternative) deputies, but Parlacen officials have stated that they were never officially sworn in, and therefore are not bona fide Deputies entitled to immunity. Local media has reported that, when they were arrested, they had Parlacen passports, as well as two new Panamanian passports, swhich were curiously obtained from the Miami Consulate, in spite of their outstanding INTERPOL Red Notice status.
They are also wanted in the Republic of Panama, in connection with $20m they allegedly received as bribes, intended for their father when he was president, from the construction conglomerate ODEBRECHT. The brothers' attorney in Guatemala is seeking their extradition to Panama, where presumably they could buy a dismissal in Panama's notoriously corrupt judicial system.
The autorities confiscated a subsantial amount of cash, in US Dollars, Euros, and other currencies, when the brothers were taken into custody.
Hearings on the brothers' extradition have been cancelled until July 23, due to the COVID-19 virus.