Panama’s detained ex-ruler ‘confident’ of avoiding extradition

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PANAMA CITY: Panama’s former president Ricardo Martinelli, detained last week by US authorities for alleged graft and other charges, tweeted on Friday that he is “confident” America’s justice system will refuse to extradite him to face charges back home. Martinelli added that political rivals had instigated the case against him, motivated by “enmity and a desire for revenge.” He is in protective custody after being detained in Miami on June 12, accused of graft and spying on political foes at home. Panama’s Supreme Court ordered his arrest in 2015, alleging he used public funds to illegally spy on telephone calls and emails of more than 150 prominent opponents. Martinelli denies the accusations, saying they are politically motivated. The supermarket tycoon governed from 2009 to 2014. Panama made a request for his extradition last year. The United States Marshals Service detained Martinelli on the basis of an international arrest warrant against him, and the extradition treaty between Panama and the US.

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AFP

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