Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares were sentenced last Friday, May 20, to 36 months in prison and two years of supervised release, for conspiring to launder $28 million from Odebrecht, but they confessed that their father, former president Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal , ordered to receive bribes.
Since June 2020, the prosecutor’s office for the Eastern District of New York has said that Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique received the bribes, for the benefit of a “senior Panamanian official” who, in addition, is a “close relative” of both. On Friday, it was finally learned that this person is Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal.
The former prosecutor of New York, Abel Arcia, pointed out that until Friday there have been 22 people sentenced in cases related to corruption and payment of bribes, in which the US authorities had brought those people to the United States. “On average in some of the cases it had been 20 or 22 months, some people zero. The record for the highest sentence in corruption cases is held by the Martinelli Linares brothers,” he assured.
He stated that during the reading of the sentence, the judge made a very important comment, “Raymond Dearie said: ‘this should not be our problem, it should be from that country (Panama) and those countries over there, not ours.’ The judge said that the word that jumped out at him after examining this case for all these months was ‘arrogant’, that the Martinelli brothers seemed arrogant to him and he said it as an insult”.
Arcia commented that when the government was trying to convince the judge to give him more punishment, they said that the Martinelli Linares brothers had paid $2 million to someone who had told them that he could make the investigation against them disappear. The judge asked about it and the Government, in a strange way, avoided giving answers. “It would not be unusual for there to be an investigation into this case,” he said.