two sons of ex-president of Panama sentenced to 3 years in prison

A New York court sentenced Luis Enrique and Ricardo Martinelli, sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, to three years in prison on Friday, May 20, accusing them of being at the origin of the corruption system set up in Panama. with the Brazilian multinational Odebrecht.

The sentence pronounced by the American judge, which includes a fine of 250,000 dollars, is well below the 9 to 11 years required by the prosecution. They were accused of having received 28 million dollars in bribes from the construction group, of which 19 million had passed through American accounts. The brothers pleaded guilty last December after being extradited from Guatemala to the United States.

Washington had demanded this extradition at the request of American justice, which accused them of having been involved in the operations of Odebrecht, which would have “paid more than $700 million in bribes to Panamanian government officials” to win contracts. Panama is also claiming the Martinelli brothers for another corruption scandal.

RIcardo Martinelli Sr. is himself accused in the Odebrecht case. The former Panamanian president, who enjoys a certain popularity, has announced his intention to be a candidate for the presidential election of 2024. The Odebrecht scandal has affected many leaders and political parties in Latin America. Former bosses of the Brazilian company have admitted in court to having illegally distributed millions of dollars in bribes in exchange in particular for the award of public contracts.

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