Ex-Panama President to run again next year despite corruption charges
Ricardo Martinelli, who served as president from 2009 to 2014, is accused of using illegally obtained state money in 2010 to purchase the bulk of the Editora Panama America publishing company.
Despite being charged with money laundering, Ricardo Martinelli, the former president of Panama, won his party's primary on Sunday and the right to seek another term in the elections next year.
Martinelli, who served as president from 2009 to 2014, is accused of using illegally obtained state money in 2010 to purchase the bulk of the Editora Panama America publishing company.
Last week, a prosecutor proposed a 12-year prison term for him and 12 other defendants.
Despite it all, he won the primary held by his party on Sunday, called Achieving Goals, which he founded in 2021.
Martinelli gained 96 percent of the votes, although turnout was only 25 percent, as per the Election Commission.
It is worth noting that the election is scheduled for May of next year.
Prosecutors say Martinelli and others exploited a series of front companies to siphon off almost $44 million from state infrastructure contracts during his presidency.
Martinelli reportedly used some of this money to purchase a majority position in the media corporation, whose newspapers published editorials in favor of the former president and his interests.
Supermarket magnate Martinelli denies the allegations and claims to be a victim of political machinations to halt him from standing in the presidential elections.
Martinelli has been under investigation for several corruption scandals since leaving office.
On espionage and misuse of public money allegations, he was once again acquitted in 2021.
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