Panama ex-President Martinelli hospitalized, ‘stable’

Panama’s former president to be extradited home Monday: lawyer

Deputy foreign minister Luis Hincapie said Panama had also asked the United States to extradite Martinelli's sons, Ricardo and Luis.

Martinelli appeared handcuffed in photos shared by Panama's security ministry and was transported to Renacer prison, where former strongman Manuel Noriega, who died previous year, had been held.

Martinelli, 66, was suffering from heart problems, said Angel Cedeno, director of the Santo Tomas public hospital in Panama City. He claims the charges are false claims from political enemies.

The International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, issued a warrant for Martinelli Berrocal's arrest in May 2017. In August 2017 a U.S. magistrate judge ruled that Martinelli would be sent back to Panama. The court denied his petition in January 2018.

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State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it will be for Panamanian courts to determine Martinelli's guilt. According to the extradition request from Panama's government, Martinelli monitored more than 150 people, ranging from political allies, opponents, and their families to union leaders between 2012 and 2014.

Panamanian officials alleged that soon after becoming president, Martinelli Berrocal launched the National Security Council with a "special services" arm that carried out his confidential instructions.

With the extradition now complete, Martinelli's case will now move forward in the Panamanian legal system.

The former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, will be extradited Monday from the United States, where he has been held for a case of illegal wiretapping, one of his attorneys said Sunday. Martinelli is being extradited back to Panama to face political espionage and corruption charges.

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