US Extradites Former Panama President Martinelli to Home Country

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2018

In a brief statement released Sunday night, the Panamanian Foreign Ministry said that Martinelli remains in the custody of the government of the United States, until he is delivered to Panamanian authorities.

Panama's former President Ricardo Martinelli will be extradited from the United States, where he was detained on charges of illegal wiretapping.

Mr Martinelli was detained and taken into USA federal custody near his home in Coral Gables, Florida, in June 2017 after Panama issued an extradition request.

Martinelli has maintained his innocence and said he is a victim of political persecution by current President Juan Carlos Varela, who previously served as his vice president.

Marta de Martinelli, wife of former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli, speaks to the media while waiting for his extradition from U.S. outside the Panama Pacifico worldwide airport in Panama City, Panama June 11, 2018. He has denied the charges.

Nauert said that Martinelli's extradition followed normal procedures established by the countries' bilateral extradition treaty. Martinelli had initially contested his extradition in the USA, but dropped his appeals. Lawyer Inna Shapovalov said in an email it wasn't clear when Martinelli would go back. "His lawyers are nearly certain that he can get bond".

Federal agencies say the 66-year-old lived in Coral Gables, but other sources, like Newsroom Panama link him to a home on Brickell Avenue in Miami's Financial District.

At a hearing at Panama's Supreme Court on Monday Martinelli warned the judge that he had a serious heart condition.

The previous day, a judge ordered that medical experts examine him to determine the severity of his health problems.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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