Panama ex-president, accused of political espionage, arrested in Florida

Paying Social Media Jobs
FILE PHOTO: Panama President Ricardo Martinelli gestures during a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Panama City April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/File Photo
Social sharing

Fugitive former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, wanted by the Central American nation on charges of political espionage, was arrested by U.S. authorities on Monday near Miami, officials for U.S. Marshals Service said.

Martinelli was taken into custody without incident as he emerged from a dwelling outside Miami on Monday evening, according to Manny Puri, assistant chief of the agency’s district office in Miami.

He said deputy marshals had placed the residence under surveillance and acted on a provisional arrest warrant issued by the U.S. Justice Department in response to a Panamanian request last September seeking Martinelli’s extradition.

Martinelli was transported to a federal detention center in Miami, and was due to appear in U.S. District Court on Tuesday to face an extradition hearing, Puri said. The arrest warrant will remain under seal until then, he said.

Interpol also issued a notice for Martinelli’s arrest last month.

The former Panamanian leader is accused of using public money to spy illegally on more than 150 political rivals during his 2009-2014 term as president.

Martinelli, a supermarket tycoon, presided as president over an infrastructure boom and Latin America’s fastest economic growth in recent years, but his administration was tainted by allegations of corruption.

In response to Panama’s extradition request last year, he lashed out at the current government and described himself as a victim of a politically motivated witchhunt.

Martinelli has denied any wrongdoing and said on Twitter last month that his successor, Juan Carlos Varela, was going after him to divert attention from his own problems.

Varela served as Martinelli’s vice president but they have sparred bitterly since the transfer of power.

READ ALSO  Umahi, Justice Nwaigwe, Others At Newly Built Ecumenical Centre To Mark Opening Of Ebonyi Judiciary Legal Year

Panama’s Supreme Court issued a warrant for Martinelli’s arrest in December 2015 after he failed to appear at a Panamanian court hearing on his case.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Michael Perry)

About 9News Nigeria 7445 Articles
9News Nigeria is Nigeria's favourite news source.For Authentic, Unbiased News on Politics, Business, Sports, Technology, Entertainment and Lifestyles, Health, Nollywood, Crime and Investigations, Family and Relationships, Inspirations .. and much more.For Latest News from Africa and around the world, 9News Nigeria is your best source. WhatsApp +2348115805632 Email: info@9newsng.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/9NewsNG | Twitter/Instagram: @9newsng

Be the first to comment

Leave your comment

Paying Social Media Jobs
Paying Social Media Jobs
Paying Social Media Jobs