If you were wondering, like me, why the US has not yet extradited its former president, Ricardo Martinelli, to face multiple (12) money laundering and corruption charges, Panamanians are in an uproar over disclosures that the documents transmitted to Washington are deliberately defective. This means that someone in Panama has obstructed justice.
Panama's Fiscal (Attorney General) Kenia Porcell Díaz is listed as the primary suspect, as her office is charged with the ultimate responsibility for forwarding the extradition request to the United States, but the country's president, Juan Carlos Varela, is also a candidate, for many of the corrupt ( and profitable) acts that Martinelli committed, are alleged to have been shared with his then-Vice President, who now runs Panama.
If there truly are procedural defects in the documents, the United States may have quietly informed Panama of the problems, so as not to embarrass the Varela administration, but if this information is not made public, Panama's corrupt system will merely delay amending the papers indefinitely. Many in the current Panamanian government clearly do not want Martinelli blowing the whistle on them, in order to mitigate his own ultimate sentence.
Some pessimistic Panamanians fear that Martinelli will never face justice in Panama City.
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock
Chronicles of Monte Friesner