Martinelli during his wiretapping trial
A bribe of at least $6. 5 million was paid to former president Ricardo Martinelli by the Spanish construction company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) in exchange for contracts in Panama, say court documents widely published in Spanish media and the front page lead in La Prensa on Saturday, November 2, in spite of threats of legal action by a Martinelli spin merchant and lawyer
The Spanish publication Vozpópuli attributes the information to statements given by FCC on June 6 to Spanish the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office.
According to FCC's statement before the prosecutor's office - cited by the judge of the National Court judge Ismael Moreno -, the bribe would have been carried out through a transaction made by the Panamanian-Spanish lawyer Mauricio Cort, appointed as the frontman of Martinelli.
According to Vozpópuli, after the bribe was paid to Marinelli, FCC won multi-million-dollar contracts in Panama - some of them from the scandal-ridden Brazilian construction company Odebrecht -, including lines 1 and 2 of the Panama Metro and the City of Health which was to have been anointed with Martinelli’s name.
Judge Moreno charged FCC on October 29 for the payment of bribes totaling $91 million at the current exchange), in order to be awarded public works contracts in Panama.
"According to the Spanish Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, FCC and Odebrecht boosted steel prices in order to pay bribes to Panamanian leaders, including former President Martinelli," Vozpópuli cites in information released on October 30.
The Spanish medium adds that, when appearing before the prosecution on July 3, “the head of the legal advice of FCC provided more compromising data for the ex-president of the Central American country. Specifically, he explained that the documents that he attached to the complaint 'had served as a formal coverage for the company's outflow of funds to Mauricio Cort as a Martinelli frontman for the payment of the bribes required by the latter to allow FCC to operate in Panama in the field of his public works ', as evidenced by Judge Moreno's October 29 order. ”
Denial and threat
This week, after the decision of the National Court of Spain to charge FCC for the alleged payment of bribes Martinelli, through his spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho Castro, denied all the accusations.
"Former President Martinelli is not subject to any criminal investigation in any country," Camacho said in a press release, and warned that they will act legally against those who try to link him in any illegal act.
When contacted by La Prensa, Camacho reiterated that Martinelli has nothing to do with the accusations, and warned, once again, that they will sue anyone who disseminates information that does not conform to the truth.
“Once again, false accusations are made. No FCC employee has sustained that Martinelli received only one real for contracts in Panama. ”
Judge Moreno attributes to FCC Construcción SA, FCC Construcción Centroamérica SA, and Construcciones Hospitalarias SA - subsidiaries of FCC - the crimes of corruption in international transactions and money laundering.
In Panama, the Office of the Attorney General (PGN) reported that charges have been made to 14 people for alleged money laundering crimes and filed as part of an investigation for alleged anomalies in the contract for the construction of via Brazil, section II, awarded to FCC.
The information was provided by the PGN, in a statement that states that the investigation is carried out in coordination with the Spanish anti-corruption prosecutors. The names of the 14 accused persons were not disclosed, although it is known that lawyer Mauricio Cort is provisionally detained.
An audit of Panama’s Comptroller General of the Republic concluded that in one of the contracts awarded to FCC in Panama there was a surcharge of $ 1.7 million, “ to which sum to which it is necessary to add the money from the payment of the coima (bribe) ”, according to the PGN
Panama | The Conscience of Morality Only Applies to the poor...ambiguous? Poor people are dispensable and apparently fall for bribes during elections...ham. All things equal and therefore...all things justified. Elite, high robber barons (National Assembly deputies, etc...) tracking down defenseless... ignorant,spied upon whistle blowers, blowing their cover. They must pay...dearly. Hey, I'm busy...I have to buy that Cadillac! The well established and deservedly voted...National Assembly representatives.
For some reason I'm not confident that either Martinelli or any other high-ranking official will be held accountable for taking the bribes the Spanish company confesses to paying.