Journalistic unions demand that the hearing of the Odebrecht case be public

Various journalistic unions in the country asked the authorities of the Judicial Branch that have jurisdiction in the hearing process of the Odebrecht case that begins next Monday, July 18, to allow media coverage to be able to transmit and inform the citizenship what happens there, since the main victim of this process is the Panamanian State.

The request was made by the National Council of Journalism, the Forum of Journalists and the National Broadcasting Association.

The request of these unions, they say, comes before the citizen clamor for greater transparency and true accountability on the part of the authorities, the National Council of Journalism, the Forum of Journalists for Freedom of Expression and Information and the Panamanian Association of Broadcasting.

They recalled that the American Convention on Human Rights indicates in its article 8.5 that: “The criminal process must be public, except in what is necessary to preserve the interests of justice.”

“It is clear that this principle is to protect the defendants and, at the same time, generate trust among citizens, about its judicial system. Panama should not go against a global trend by the courts of justice to broadcast live their audiences, and not doing so represents a total anachronism in this new era of communications,” said these unions in a statement.

They added that the details of this case are of public interest and concern the entire population because it is the most relevant case of high-profile corruption that, in addition to being historical, has had far-reaching implications at the local and international levels.

In addition, they point out that our own jurisdiction establishes that these trials are of a public nature and can be disclosed through the media.

“Given that our laws and international conventions to which Panama is a party guarantee the publicity of these hearings, the authorities of the Judicial Branch should facilitate access, not only to the media, but to all citizens who want to follow this trial. in particular, allowing each citizen to be a witness, without intermediaries, of the action of local justice in a transcendental case that requires maximum transparency for the benefit of the public interest,” these unions stated.

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