Martinelli’s team of lawyers also filed an electoral complaint against this judge.
The trial of the case was postponed for next May as a result of the ex-governor taking cover in the electoral criminal jurisdiction.
The defense of former president Ricardo Martinelli added new resources in the process that is being followed for the alleged commission of money laundering in the New Business case. This time it is a recusal against the third judge liquidator of criminal cases, Baloisa Marquínez, in order to separate her from this case.
The appeal is in the hands of Agueda Rentería, the first judge to liquidate criminal cases, who must analyze the legal action and notify Marquínez so that he can present his arguments. In an edict posted at the headquarters of the First Criminal Court, Rentería informs that it will suspend the resolution of the appeal presented by Martinelli’s defense, until the request to lift the electoral jurisdiction made by Judge Marquínez to the Court is resolved. Electoral (TE) in the process that follows Martinelli for this case.
But this is not the only resource that the former president’s lawyers have filed in recent days to knock down the case. In the Public Ministry they also filed a complaint against Marquínez for the alleged commission of the crimes of abuse of authority and excess of functions, for allegedly prosecuting Martinelli when, according to the complaint, he was protected by the principle of specialty.
Roniel Ortiz, from Martinelli’s team of lawyers, assured that Judge Marquínez never carried out a procedure to request the exception to the principle of specialty of her client, therefore, she says that everything that has been done in this case is null. Ortiz explained that the judge had to submit the request for exception of the principle of specialty to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from there to the US judge Edwin Torres, who ordered the extradition of Martinelli to Panama in 2018 in order to establish whether or not said request proceeds.
However, the US embassy in Panama has repeatedly disclosed the position of the State Department in this case. The last time it was pronounced was on December 23. “The position of the State Department has not changed: Panama is free to take Mr. Martinelli to trial without obtaining an exception from the United States (US) to the specialty rule,” the embassy assured that day.
Before the preliminary hearing for Martinelli and 33 others investigated in the New Business case was suspended on January 28, Judge Marquínez had rejected several incidents of annulment presented by the former president’s defense.
Among them, one for maintaining alleged immunity because when the investigation began in 2017, he was a deputy of the Central American Parliament. And the other is related to the alleged violation of the specialty principle.
But at the hearing, Judge Marquínez rejected both allegations. Regarding the principle of specialty, she argued that this situation had already been discussed by her office, and added that the Second Superior Court of Justice had even confirmed her decision to reject it.
Later, Martinelli’s defense argued that his client had criminal electoral jurisdiction as a result of internal elections of Realizing Metas (RM), the political party he created and of which he serves as president. Marquínez decided to suspend the hearing until May 19 and asked the Electoral Tribunal (TE) to lift his jurisdiction.
TE sources reported that yesterday morning officials from the Electoral Administrative Court placed an edict on the door of the RM party headquarters to notify it of the impeachment process. Now their lawyers must present the corresponding defenses.