Panama retries ex-president accused of spying on opponents


Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli has gone on trial for a second time on costs that he tapped the telephones of opponents and journalists,

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

Martinelli, 69, was acquitted of comparable costs in 2019, and was dismissive of Wednesday’s proceedings as properly.

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 carrying a face masks.

In August 2019, he was acquitted on espionage and embezzlement costs 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 prosecution’s proof.

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

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



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