The Supreme Court of Justice of Panama, after a period of six months, continues to fail to deliver, to Swiss authorities investigating alleged Odebrecht bribe money located in accounts there, information they requested. Considering that the targets of the Swiss investigation are believed to be the fugitive former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, and his immediate family, there are suspicions that the delay is intentional, and deliberate.
Many of the justices of the Supreme Court were appointed by Martinelli, and are said to be loyal to him, most notably, the president of the court, Jose´ Ayú Prado. Inasmuch as the removal of Supreme Court justices who fail to follow the rule of law is difficult or even impossible, they may take dilatory action, at their own discretion, without fear of adverse consequences. the case in Switzerland is now effectively stalled, due to the Panamanian judicial delays.
JOSE AYU PRADO - CHIEF JUSTICE OF PANAMA SUPREME COURT
Many observers of the Panama scene are pessimistic about the future of the Odebrecht investigation, into bribes paid to former, and indeed, present, government officials, to obtain lucrative construction contracts.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock