- Title: Interpol arrest notice issued ex-Panamanian President Martinelli
- Date: 22nd May 2017
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (FILE - MARCH 24, 2014) (REUTERS) **** WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY **** GENERAL VIEW OF GOVERNMENT EVENT WITH THEN PANAMANIAN PRESIDENT, RICARDO MARTINELLI AND MEXICAN PRESIDENT, ENRIQUE PENA NIETO MARTINELLI SPEAKING AT LECTERN ABOUT FREE TRADE WITH MEXICO GENERAL VIEW OF MARTINELLI AND MEXICAN PRESIDENT, ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, ON STAGE AT EVENT MARTINELLI AND PENA NIETO SHAKING HANDS AT EVENT PANAMA CITY, PANAMA (FILE - OCTOBER 2012) (REUTERS) THEN PRINCE FELIPE OF SPAIN WALKING WITH MARTINELLI DURING OFFICIAL VISIT, THEN PRINCESS LETICIA WALKING AHEAD WITH FORMER PANAMANIAN FIRST LADY, MARTA LINARES PANAMA CITY, PANAMA (FILE - APRIL 2014) (REUTERS) MARTINELLI WALKING AMONGST CROWD AT INAUGURATION OF METRO STATION WORKERS WAVING PANAMA FLAGS AT EVENT MARTINELLI WALKING DOWN ESCALATOR, WAVING TO CROWD GENERAL VIEW OF MARTINELLI ON STAGE AT EVENT MARTINELLI ON STAGE TELLING SUPPORTERS THE LIVES OF PANAMANIANS WILL CHANGE MARTINELLI GREETING SUPPORTERS ON THROUGH A FENCE MARTINELLI SPEAKING TO MEDIA (NOT A SOUNDBITE) PANAMA CITY, PANAMA (FILE - JANUARY, 2014) (REUTERS) PANAMANIAN FLAG WAVING OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT PALACE MARTINELLI OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT PALACE WITH THEN SPANISH MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS, TRANSPORT AND HOUSING OF SPAIN, ANA PASTOR MARTINELLI SPEAKING TO MEDIA ALONGSIDE PASTOR (NOT A SOUNDBITE) BOAT TRAVELLING TO THE PANAMA CANAL BOAT PASSING UNDER BRIDGE
- Embargoed: 5th June 2017 21:42
- Keywords: arrest warrant ex president Ricardo Martinelli Interpol Panama
- Location: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO / PANAMA CITY, PANAMA
- City: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO / PANAMA CITY, PANAMA
- Country: Panama
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice
- Reuters ID: LVA0016HXA05F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Interpol has issued an arrest notice for fugitive former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli to face charges he engaged in political espionage during his 2009-2014 term, a senior police official said on Monday (May 22).
The Central American country sent the U.S. State Department an extradition request for Martinelli last year, when he was believed to be living in Miami, after he was accused of having used government funds to spy illegally on more than 150 political rivals.
Marcos Cordoba, the police commissioner assigned to Panama's judicial investigations directorate, told Reuters Interpol had issued a so-called "red notice" for Martinelli's arrest. Such notices are a request by the international police organisation to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition.
An attorney for Martinelli, a supermarket tycoon, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The former president has denied any wrongdoing and said on Twitter on Monday (May 22) 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.
Panama's Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant for Martinelli in December 2015 after he failed to turn up at a Panamanian court hearing on his case. He presided over an infrastructure boom that helped give Panama one of the fastest-growing economies in the Americas, but his administration was dogged by corruption allegations.
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