Criminal charges of Abuse of Power, Embezzlement, Crimes against Public Administration, and Violation of the duties of a Public Servant, have been filed in Panama against former President Ricardo Martinelli Linares, who has long been the subject of media attention there, due to allegations that literally billions of dollars in government funds are missing, equipment has been stolen, and insider trading committed, among numerous other criminal acts directly attributed to Martinelli, while he was in office. The case has been assigned to a judge of the Panamanian Supreme Court of Justice, who will rule on the legal sufficiency of the allegations.
While there are issues relating to Martinelli's grant of immunity, Panamanian attorneys advise that the Court, under the circumstances, has the authority to revoke it, and proceed with the charges. Rumors of pending criminal investigations against the ex-president, in Brazil, Cuba, and Nicaragua have been circulating, and there is the ongoing Italian investigation, wherein Martinelli reportedly accepted millions of dollars, mostly in cash, from a bag man representing an Italian government-owned company that was supplying goods and services to the Government of Panama. It is not known whether he is in custody at this time.