August 5, 2021

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Panama Retries Ex-president Accused Of Spying On Opponents

PANAMA CITY: Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli went on trial for a second time Wednesday on fees that he tapped the telephones of opponents and journalists.

Martinelli, 69, was acquitted of comparable fees in 2019, and was dismissive of Wednesdays proceedings as effectively.

Noting his grocery store chain is celebrating its 35th anniversary and generates extra employment and pays extra taxes than every other enterprise in Panama, he mentioned: I must be there working as a substitute of attending a political trial that was already determined.

Martinelli, who ruled Panama from 2009 to 2014, entered the court docket utilizing a walker for stability after having again surgical procedure final month and sporting a face masks.

In August 2019, he was acquitted on espionage and embezzlement fees and launched from custody. The court docket discovered that prosecutors had violated due course of after a five-month trial. The court docket additionally criticized the prosecutions proof.

However the authorities received on enchantment, arguing there have been enough components for a brand new trial.

As president, Martinelli allegedly spent thousands and thousands of {dollars} on subtle spying tools from Israel. Prosecutors say he intercepted communications from opposition politicians and others.

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