Panama City, Panama — In a move that most observers believe smacks of sheer desperation, attorneys for former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli have filed criminal charges against the remaining judges and magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice, effectively shutting down the country’s dysfunctional criminal justice system.
Panama’s highest court, which is grappling with a massive docket of official corruption cases, must now grind to a halt, which was most likely Martinelli’s objective, since it is members of his cabinet, and agency appointees, who are charged with criminal acts, as well as Martinelli himself.
The charges, which include abuse of authority, and defamation, do not appear to have any factual basis, and have seemingly been filed strictly to halt the current criminal cases from proceeding to trial. Martinelli’s abuse of the judicial system has once more interfered with the forward movement of President Varela’s reform program.
Kenneth Rijock is a banking lawyer turned-career money launderer (10 years), turned-compliance officer specialising in enhanced due diligence, and a financial crime consultant who publishes a Financial Crime Blog. The Laundry Man, his autobiography, was published in the UK on 5 July 2012.