• Panama gripped by millionaire ex-president’s graft scandal


    PANAMA CITY: When he ran for office, Panama’s former president Ricardo Martinelli promised graft-weary voters he would never steal a cent: Why would he need to, since he was already a millionaire?, he asked. Six years later, he is at the eye of a swirling scandal that has taken down several close allies, including two former ministers jailed for stealing public money. The mounting accusations of massive corruption during his presidency (2009-2014) are now closing in on Martinelli, a white-haired supermarket magnate who is already under investigation for skimming money off the top of a school lunch contract.



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