US prosecutors stand firm against postponing Martinelli extradition proceedings

The obvious opposition against the extension of the process of the ex- president Ricardo Martinelli was exposed through a note issued by the prosecutor Benjamín Greenberg, who considers it unnecessary and recommends, in a document that resembles more like a teaching manual, that the counterpart must file a habeas corpus petition, and even asks him to take note of the steps for the extradition process.

Greenberg explains in his note that once the extradition certificate has been issued, the Secretary of State must proceed to determine whether or not to surrender the fugitive to the State that requires it, in this case Panama, a process normally carried out after two calendar months from the date of issue.

To do this, representatives must present materials that will be considered by the secretariat and should send their respective presentations immediately to the Department of Certification of the Department of State of the legal counsel of intelligence, a process that can be done by email with the title «Submission of the extradition of Ricardo Alberto Martinelli».

The prosecutor’s note even incorporates the actions to be taken in case of not succeeding in the electronic form, which are sending the material by courier or private mail and indicates the specific address to which it should be sent.


It is a feasible remedy only if there are grounds for verifying that the accused is guilty

For their part, the attorneys of former President Martinelli announced that they would present the brief before the Atlanta Tribunals, an appeal that it is only viable if the magistrate has the jurisdiction to adjudicate, if the crime for which he is charged appears in the treaty that both countries signed and whether there is evidence that there are evident reasons to consider the accused guilty of the charges.

If habeas corpus is fulfilled, the clerk will suspend the review and start again if the district court denies this request. If this appeal is not filed, the clerk could make a decision. In this case, the two-month period following the certification to deliver the fugitive would be suspended, to resume when the district court denies the habeas.

If so, Ricardo Martinelli could be turned over to Panama at any time, even if the appeal is still pending, unless a habeas corpus denial has been given or a request to suspend the appeal.

For his part, Edwin Torres, the case judge issued an extradition certification order to Panama for Martinelli on August 31, and left him in the custody of federal agents awaiting the decision by the Secretary of State.