Panamanian court dismissed charges against 40 involved in the "lava jato" case in Brazil

Panamanian court dismissed charges against 40 involved in the “lava jato” case in Brazil

The Panamanian body determined that the Prosecutor’s Office did not present sufficient evidence to determine that “the accounts were opened” in that country and with the purpose of “hiding money of illicit origin”

A Panamanian court provisionally dismissed this Friday the money laundering charges against the founders of the defunct law firm linked to the “Panama Papers” scandal: Mossack Fonseca; as well as another 40 people investigated for alleged money laundering crimes in the “Lava Jato” case in Brazil.

However, a judicial source said the ruling was subject to appeal by prosecutors.

Through a statement, the judicial body specified that the prosecution “did not demonstrate what accounts were created in Panama, which were opened with the purpose of hiding money of illicit origin, nor the amount of money entered from offshore companies.”

Judge Baloisa Marquinez said that the typology used to cover up and justify funds was not proven, nor was the traceability of the money that allegedly comes from Brazil evidenced. Nor was it proven that the investigated law firm managed any funds or Brazilian bank accounts.

The Third Liquidator Court also ordered the lifting of all personal precautionary measures and release bonds applied to the defendants benefiting from dismissal.

*Also read: Pedro Castillo went to the Prosecutor’s Office of Peru to be questioned for alleged corruption

The investigation of the case began in 2016 and linked a law office in Panama that was dedicated to the creation of corporations for the alleged mobilization of illegal funds from the “Lava Jato” case, the largest corruption investigation in the history of Brazil, that imprisoned figures from the Brazilian elite such as former president Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva.

The Judiciary did not respond to a request to specify how the case will be definitively concluded.

The now-defunct law firm Mossack Fonseca rose to infamy in 2016 after leaked confidential documents exposed offshore accounts linked to the likes of former Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi and actress Emma Watson.

With information from Reuters

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