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Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) was accused of money laundering and bribery from a construction company in Spain during his term in office, local media reported in the Panamanian capital Wednesday.
The Baltasar Garzon International Foundation (FIBGAR) won the appeal at a Madrid court to continue the judicial process against the Spanish construction company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, S.A. (FCC) for crimes in works done in Panama, La Prensa, and La Estrella de Panama newspapers, among others, reported today.
FIBGAR was given the green light by the Criminal Court when the 2nd Central Investigating Court of Madrid dismissed the lawsuit, stating that the Foundation did not have the requirements to make the accusation.
Since October 2020, the organization, led by former Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, has involved Panamanian government officials, led by Martinelli, for allegedly collecting $82.7 million illegally through front companies that operate an international circuit of bank accounts.
El expresidente Ricardo Martinelli fue incluido, en calidad de ‘investigado’, en las pesquisas que sigue la Audiencia Nacional de España a FCC por corrupción internacional. #LaPrensaSecuestrada sigue informando en https://t.co/DPKwqJxTqU
"Former President Ricardo Martinelli was included, as 'investigated,' in the investigations that the National Court of Spain is pursuing against FCC for international corruption."
The appeal court assured "that the court order for which Mr. Ricardo A. Martinelli Berrocal's criminal responsibility is excluded cannot be ratified in the present procedure that must also continue for him as investigated', the Foundation said in a communique that La Estrella quoted.
So far, there have been no reactions from the former president, whose media empire made headlines when the Madrid Court blocked the criminal action, and Martinelli himself challenged various media organizations on Twitter to publish the news of what he considered "a ridiculous complaint by Garzon about the FCC."