Panama´s former president to be extradited home Monday:…

Former Panama president extradited from U.S. to face corruption charges

Mr Martinelli is being sent to the same prison where Panama's former military leader, General Manuel Noriega, spent the last years of his life.

Former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli is being escorted to a plane by U.S. security officials on Monday.

Deputy foreign minister Luis Hincapie said Panama had also asked the USA to extradite Martinelli's sons, Ricardo and Luis. "I especially thank the hard-working attorneys and worldwide affairs specialists in the Office of global Affairs, as well as our partners in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District Florida, for their tireless efforts in support of this extradition".

These targets included Martinelli's political allies and opponents, their family members, his business rivals, Panamanian judges, journalists, union activists, United States diplomats, and others. This prompted Martinelli Berrocal to file in federal court in South Florida a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which asks a judge to determine if a person's imprisonment or detention is lawful.

Panamanian authorities said Martinelli was extradited at 8:44 a.m. (1344 GMT).

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He has been accused of using public funds to monitor the phone calls of more than 150 people, including politicians and journalists. The Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic of Panama issued an arrest warrant [JURIST report] in December of that year.

Martinelli's attorney Roniel Ortiz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Panama City, Jun 12 Panamanian former president Ricardo Martinelli was taken to hospital early today, one day after he was extradited from the United States to face charges of spying on journalists and opponents. Martinelli had initially contested his extradition in the United States but dropped his appeals.

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

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