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Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli faces trial for money laundering | Panama

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A judge has summoned Ricardo Martinelli, the former president of Panama, to stand trial for money laundering, investigators said.

Martinelli, who served from 2009 to 2014, is accused of laundering public funds by buying a media outlet during his tenure. Nearly 20 others are charged in what is known as the “New Business” case.

On Friday, the Panamanian judiciary said arguments presented in a preliminary case in November showed that the funds used for the purchase were of illegal origin.

This is the second lawsuit against Martinelli announced in 2022 and he is expected to testify in both cases in 2023.

Martinelli and his sons, Luis and Ricardo, are also indicted in Panama for their alleged involvement in laundering millions of dollars in bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

Both sons are serving prison sentences in the United States for their involvement in the scandal that rocked South America.

Martinelli, who maintains his innocence, claims he is politically targeted and has declared his intention to run as a candidate in the 2024 presidential elections.

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theguardian

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