Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Ex-president Martinelli extradited from US to Panama

Ex-president Martinelli extradited from US to Panama

On Friday, President Juan Carlos Verla said the U.S. State Department had approved his request to extradite his predecessor.

According to press reports, the former governor, who was imprisoned for nearly a year in a federal prison in the USA state of Florida, departed on a Jet Logistics flight from the Opa-Locka airport in Miami-Dade County.

Former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli is being escorted to a plane by United States security officials on Monday.

"This extradition is a testament to the Department of Justice's commitment to honoring our extradition treaty obligations", Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan said.

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In May 2017, Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Martinelli with a so-called "red notice", a request to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition.

Judge Edwin Torres determined the extradition of Martinelli on August 31 in a 93-page ruling, because 'it satisfies all the legal requirements, ' and that verdict was later ratified by his colleague Marcia G. Cooke. This prompted Martinelli Berrocal to file in federal court in South Florida a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which asks a judge to determine if a person's imprisonment or detention is lawful.

The State Department said on Monday it made the decision in accordance with a bilateral treaty and US laws.

Panamanian ex-President Ricardo Martinelli is being treated at a hospital a day after he was extradited from the United States to face political espionage and embezzlement charges. He is accused of embezzlement and illegally monitoring phone calls and other communications. They did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and their court filings were not publicly available at press time.

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