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Panama ex-president acquitted in espionage trial – Times of India

PANAMA CITY: Panama’s ex-president Ricardo Martinelli was acquitted on Tuesday in a trial for alleged espionage in opposition to opponents of his authorities when he was in energy between 2009 and 2014.
It is the second time the previous Panamanian chief has been acquitted on such fees.
He was additionally accused of embezzling public funds to spy on his opponents when he led the nation, and the prosecution accused him of wiretapping greater than 150 folks, together with politicians and journalists.
But the court docket dominated that the prosecution’s proof in opposition to Martinelli was inadequate.
“Justice, finally, was applied,” Martinelli, 69, mentioned as he left the court docket.
“Seven years of this torture. I thank God and the Panamanian justice system. I suffered a lot.”
Carlos Herrera Moran, a lawyer for one of the victims of the alleged wiretapping, mentioned the choice was “outside the law and the evidence presented.”
Martinelli was acquitted of related fees in 2019 however that was overturned final yr, forcing a brand new trial in July.
He was first tried after being extradited from the United States in 2018, the place he had resided for a number of years and evaded Panamanian justice.
The billionaire grocery store tycoon rose to the presidency in 2009 after successful an election marketing campaign in which he gave a speech denouncing corruption and the nation’s political class.
He was later named in the “Pandora Papers” investigation into the creation of offshore shell firms meant to cover cash in tax havens, however denied involvement in something untoward.

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