The recent scandal over the case in which a son and the former assistant of a former magistrate were found guilty of the crime of influence peddling in the Supreme Court of Justice, is generating fear in individuals and companies that await the resolution of their processes in the Panama’s highest justice corporation.
This was stated by Esteban Maqueo Barnetche, a Mexican lawyer for the companies Obras Portuarias de Coatzacoalcos, SA de CV and Matrix Concesiones, SA, which three years ago won an arbitration – at the Panamanian courthouse – against the Spanish construction company Fomento de Construcciones y Contracts (FCC).
Maqueo Bartnetche stressed that, after that decision, FCC appealed to the Court with appeals for annulment and clarification, and despite the fact that the Fourth Chamber rejected them in two rulings as inadmissible, months later the company’s new lawyer filed an injunction that was admitted and remains undecided.
The Mexican lawyer also recalled that last November, in Panama, an audio was leaked in which that person and, coincidentally, the sister of the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, admitted that she was “lobbying” in the processes of her friends.
“Obviously our client was concerned because we understand that in this way, without hesitation, he admits doing lobbying work in the Supreme Court of Justice. We also understand that there is a new person presiding over the Court and that gives us some peace of mind,” he noted.
He indicated that, despite these shocks, his colleagues in Panama have given them confidence. “Fortunately it has taken time, but the resolutions have been favorable for our clients and we hope that in the not too distant future the impediment raised by the magistrate will be determined so that the paper that brings the amparo action can end this”, express.
Blow to the image of Panama
Maqueo Bartnetche affirmed that the image of Panama as the seat of arbitration suffers when the company that is not favored by the ruling resorts to the Supreme Court with unfeasible and dilatory resources.
“One submits to arbitration seeking a resolution in a summary procedure, which is faster than the ordinary procedures in the judiciary. Panama traditionally was an attractive venue because of the law, which says that the decisions of the Supreme Court are final and unassailable. This hits us like a bucket of cold water because the confidence that was had in Panama as the seat of arbitration has been diluted. We have heard many horror stories about procrastination and that they shelve matters, that make us tremble”, he denounced.
He stressed that for the moment he will not recommend to his clients that they agree in Panama as the venue for arbitration. “That’s unfortunate because the experience had been good, but now we have that nullity claim. We defend ourselves, we win and then they promote these resources for reconsideration and clarification. The Court discards them and a year later this amparo action is promoted against the resolution of the Fourth Chamber and time passes, “said the lawyer.
He affirmed that, although it seems that it is a matter between commercial companies, the lack of execution of the award has had a serious effect on the companies and families that depend on them, since, added to the lack of liquidity, they have caused losses of business opportunities. for these companies.