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Former Panama president’s son pleads guilty to US corruption – International

Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares, son of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, pleaded guilty in a New York court this Tuesday (14) to conspiracy to bribe millions of dollars.

Martinelli Linares was extradited to the United States after being captured in Guatemala in 2020 at the request of Washington.

Conviction was expected after his lawyer said over the weekend that the court had signed a petition agreement.

“He has pleaded guilty and is in custody,” said AFP, a spokesman for prosecutors in New York’s Eastern District.

The judge, who announced that Martinelli Linares was in danger of boarding the plane, ordered his detention during a hearing last Saturday.

The U.S. lawsuit against Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares and his brother Luis Enrique is linked to a broader investigation into the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

Prosecutors say the brothers allowed millions of dollars to be deposited in secret bank accounts in the name of shell companies.

Louis Enrique was deported to the United States last month and pleaded guilty in a court in the Eastern District of New York to conspiring with his brother to defraud Odebrecht of more than $ 28 million in bribes for the benefit of a close relative. A senior civil servant in Panama “, between 2009 and 2014.

Federal prosecutors used a similar text to describe Ricardo Alberto’s case.

Investigations into Odebrecht have reached out to many leaders and political parties in Latin America. The former directors of the Brazilian company have admitted in court that they illegally distributed millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for public contracts.

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Former President Martinelli Odebrecht is being investigated for his involvement in the scandal. Despite this, he expressed his desire to run for re-election in 2024.

In 2016, Odebrecht and petrochemical subsidiary Braskem agreed to pay $ 3.5 billion in fines after pleading guilty in a court in the Eastern District of New York.

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