Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

FORMER MAGISTRATE STATES THAT MARTINELLI HAS NO IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION IN PANAMA



Immediately after leaving office, former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli, left Panama, and was sworn in as a Deputy of the Central American Parliament. His position since then is that he may not be charged in Panama with any crimes, due to the immunity conferred upon him by that body. A prominent local legal authority, formerly a Magistrate on the Supreme Court of Justice, Edgardo Molina Mola, has rendered a considered opinion that Martinelli has no immunity in Panama.

The basis for his opinion is that, in 2004, Panama's National Assembly removed the immunity provision, regarding its application to Deputies sitting in the country's National Assembly. The law regarding immunity in the Central American Parliament only awards immunity to its Deputies, as  it exists in their own country. Since immunity no longer protects Deputies in Panama, Martinelli can now be charged with criminal activity. There was no need to petition the Central American Parliament.    

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