Issued by Transparency International Secretariat
Updated at 19:15 CET on 11 June 2018. The final paragraph was edited to reflect recent findings.
As former president of Panama Ricardo Martinelli returns to his home country today following his extradition from the United States, Transparency International urges authorities to ensure that he is kept in detention and tried in a fair process for the full extent of his alleged crimes.
Following his arrest in the United States last June, Martinelli is being extradited over illegal wire-tapping and embezzlement committed during his term as president.
In total, he faces eight cases before the Supreme Court of Panama on charges related to his time in high office. These include allegations that he rigged tenders for public contracts for meals and book bags for schoolchildren under Panama’s largest social welfare scheme, the National Aid Programme.
Concerns have been raised that Martinelli has the financial means to