An ongoing case in Panama involving Brazilian construction company Odebretch and the Panamenista Party is causing turmoil within its political sphere, local media outlets reported on Tuesday.
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After five years and two weeks of investigation, the trials will occur after an investigation carried out by the Public Ministry confirmed 102 defendants. The inquiry revealed that former president Juan Carlos Varela received $1.1 million as Odebretch largely funded the campaign of 2009-2014.
"I'll leave this here: The process #OdebrechtPanama is the one that has more tests and inserts after #Brazil; with 1067 volumes of 500 pages each and more than 100 inserts, they show their hard work. Its weakness lies in the fact that it has already been proven that #PteVarela has had a special treatment."
According to local media outlet La Estrella, the construction company supported prominent party members' campaigns, including the current party's president José Isabel Blandón, as revealed by Jaime Lasso, an ex-diplomat and former treasurer of Panameñista Party who also worked as a lobbyist for the Brazilian Company.
Although Blandón denies having received such money, the former treasurer Lasso confirmed to La Prensa that the party received $6 million allocated to the campaigns. Moreover, the Electoral Court confirmed that Odebretch was not registered as a donor during the campaigns, although its contributions should have been reported.
On the other hand, the Nation's Attorney General, Eduardo Ulloa, reported that former president Ricardo Martinelli is also included in the case. The files of the 102 defendants will be submitted to the court in December.