Sat, 08 Aug 2020

2 Former Panama Presidents Charged with Money Laundering

Voice of America
03 Jul 2020, 20:05 GMT+10

Two former presidents of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli and Juan Carlos Varela, have been charged with money laundering in separate cases.

After leaving the prosecutor's office in Panama City on Thursday, Martinelli said he was angered by prosecutors continuing to link him to the so-called "New Business" case in which a publishing group was allegedly purchased with government money during his five-year term, ending in 2014.

The French News Agency (AFP) said prosecutors accuse former President Juan Carlos Varela of taking illegal campaign donations from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht during his term ending in 2019.

Varela has pledged to cooperate with prosecutors to clear his name.

Both Martinelli and Varela share more than identical legal challenges.

Martinelli won the 2009 election with Varela as his running mate, but their partnership collapsed when Varela was fired as foreign minister in 2011.

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