Former Panamanian President Martinelli continues to draw allegations of corruption and wrong doing in the ongoing trial. New testimonies allege that his crimes reach far beyond securities fraud.
Earlier this week, former Superintendent of Securities Ricardo Fabrega, plead guilty to giving confidential information to Pacific Financial during an investigation by his agency. Fabrega claimed he was acting under the orders of Martinelli and former Tourism Authority Administrator Salomón Shamah.
“I was accused of corruption for providing confidential information to Pacific Financial while I was investigating the brokerage house,” he said. He testified that he did not think he was breaking any laws in providing the information, saying that he was following instructions from Martinelli.
Fabrega confirmed the information provided by former Pacific Financial official Mayté Pellegrini that indicated, Martinelli had a secret Pacific Financial account that was used to trade shares of the mining company Petaquilla.
Fabrega made his appearance after spending four and a half months as a fugitive.
Pellegrini identified a conspiracy in 2012, between then President Martinelli and the current president of the Supreme Court, Jose Ayu Prado.
Fabrega’s subordinate, Vernon Ramos, was investigating the High Spirit allegations when he disappeared. Now imprisoned, former Supreme Court magistrate Alejandro Luna, quashed the High Spirit investigation by ruling that insider trading is not a crime if the shares are not traded on the Panamanian market. The scandals at Financial Pacific continued under the new management, to whom Fabrega continued to provide information about ongoing investigations.
The High Spirit scheme, according to Pellegrini, had shares in the Canadian company that were bought and sold on Canadian and European markets through an account in a Danish bank. The proceeds were then laundered through a South Korean company. Whether or not shares were traded in the US market is unclear. However, U.S. electronic facilities would have been used for at least some of the transactions and at least some of Martinelli’s fortune ended up in the United States. Martinelli has long claimed that he had nothing to do with Financial Pacific, but at other times made contradictory claims that he had an account there before he was president.
Meanwhile, the Financial Pacific and High Spirit affair is probably a murder case, although no trace of Vernon Ramos has yet been found. Prior findings of Financial Pacific investigations have been forwarded by the attorney general to the Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction over Martinelli. The file is about to get thicker, because this is just one of about a dozen Martinelli cases that the high court has yet to decide whether to accept.