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Former Panamanian president released for phone call | Court Matters

Ricardo Martinelli is accused of shooting more than 150 people, including politicians and journalists.

Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli has been released on charges of making phone calls to protesters and journalists during his tenure.

Martinelli, who served as President from 2009 to 2014, was indicted in July after being released on similar charges in 2019.

He was also accused of embezzling government funds to spy on his enemies while leading the country, and a prosecutor accused him of making radio broadcasts of more than 150 people, including politicians and journalists.

But the court ruled Tuesday that Martinelli’s evidence was not sufficient.

“Justice, in the end, has been exercised,” the 69-year-old said as he walked out of court. “Seven years of torture. I thank God for the Panamanian justice system. I was devastated. ”

Carlos Herrera Moran, a lawyer for one of the victims, said the verdict was “illegal and the evidence provided”.

Martinelli was extradited from the United States in 2018 to sue Panama.

In August 2019, he was released on espionage charges as well as money laundering and released from prison. The court found that the prosecutor had violated the law after a five-month trial and also rejected the testimony of the prosecutor.

But the Panamanian government won an appeal, saying there was enough evidence in the new trial, which began in July.

As president, Martinelli is said to have spent millions of dollars on state-of-the-art spy equipment from Israel, including spyware programs. Pegasus.

NSO Group, an Israeli company behind spyware, is facing a new search in recent weeks. research and international media outlets revealed that Pegasus was used by security forces and government authorities in several countries.

The administration of US President Joe Biden also allowed The NSO last week accused the Israeli company of supporting “international oppression” and intelligence programs.

The NSO has denied the allegations, saying its products are intended to help governments deal with terrorists and “terrorists”.

Martinelli, the owner of a supermarket, hopes to run for president again in 2024. He has described the charges against him such as political harassment and attempts to prevent him from running again.

He became President in 2009 after winning an election in which he spoke out against corruption and the country’s political party.

He was later named “Pandora Papers“Investigations into the establishment of maritime shell companies that hide money in tax havens, but have refused to engage in any wrongdoing.

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