A judge from a New York appeals court denied bail for Luis Enrique Martinelli, son of the former president of Panama Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), for a second time on Tuesday. "Sure" risk of flight in a hearing in which it was also clear that the possibility of reaching an agreement with the US government has disappeared.
"The risk of leakage is proven"said Judge Raymond Dearie of the Eastern District Court of New York, who noted that, now that Martinelli is incarcerated in New York, his incentive to escape is "even bigger".
Among the main reasons given by Dearie was the fact that his family is currently in Panama, a country to which Martinelli traveled to, according to the judge, evade US authorities after having resided in the United States for several years.
"If that is not an incentive to return to Panama and escape the jurisdiction of this country, I do not know what is going to be."said Dearie, who noted that it is "irrefutable" the fact that Martinelli has had "Boats to the Bahamas, charter flights, private family jets, or fake diplomatic credentials".
During the hearing, in which Martinelli was not present, the defense lawyer, James McGovern, revealed the facts for which the defendant finally did not plead guilty at the hearing last Tuesday, despite the fact that the robed himself had announced that it would do so, having failed to reach an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office.
McGovern explained that despite a long list of conditions that his client has proposed to ensure that he will not flee the United States, including a $ 5 million bond and the use of an electronic device to monitor his movements, the The prosecution refused to offer bail.
"Not being willing to even contemplate any kind of package of bail conditions for someone who you know is going to plead guilty and who has transferred their assets and who has already been in prison for 16 months, seems very unreasonable to me."said McGovern, who accused the prosecution of using bail as a "punishment".
"My feeling is that this is a bit more revenge than a real escape fear", he asserted.
Both Luis Enrique Martinelli and his brother, Ricardo Alberto, are accused in the United States of "conspired with third parties to launder approximately $ 28 million in bribe payments made by and under the direction of (Brazilian construction company) Odebrecht to a high-ranking official at the time of the Government of Panama, who was a close relative of the defendants".
Luis Enrique Martinelli was extradited on November 15 from Guatemala, and a day later he pleaded not guilty of "conspiracy to launder money" before a judge in a federal court in New York who denied him parole, while Ricardo Alberto remains detained in Guatemala and is expected to be handed over to the United States soon.
The Odebrecht company was convicted in 2017 in a New York court for paying 788 million dollars in bribes in twelve countries in Latin America and Africa.
Payments were made in relation to "more than one hundred projects in twelve countries, including Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama, Peru and Venezuela", according to court documents.