Spanish version

JUDICIAL AFFAIRS

Brazil strongly critical of Panama

A meeting between prosecutors from both countries was cancelled. 

Spanish version

Temas:

The Attorney General of Brazil denied Thursday that any apologies were made to representatives of the Public Ministry of Panama that traveled this week to that country, but who were not received.

"Contrary to what was reported by the press office of the Public Ministry of Panama, there were no apologies made for not having meetings," the Brazilian Ministry of Justice said.

Panama officials had earlier reported that Ministry of Justice official Isalino Giacomet had apologized for having to cancel planned meetings over the Lava Jato case. Panama had sent a three-person delegation to Brazil to discuss a request for judicial assistance submitted 18 months ago, which Panama has yet to fulfill, in connection with the Lava Jato corruption investigation. 

Panama prosecutors said there was a planned meeting with Lava Jato prosecutors in Curitiba, but Brazilian officials have denied any meeting was planned and that added that they were not given any notice that the team was traveling to the country.

In its statement, Brazilian officials reiterated "the need for a speedy solution to obtain answers" to the request submitted 18 months ago on bank accounts of companies linked to Constructora Norberto Odebrecht, S.A., the construction company at the center of the Lava Jato scandal.

Panama has claimed that the request was too vague, while Brazilian officials have responded by leaking the actual request, which appears to contain a request for specific information about bank accounts in Panama.

Comunicado del Ministerio Público de Panamá sobre reunión de fiscales en Curitiba, Brasil Expandir Imagen
Comunicado del Ministerio Público de Panamá sobre reunión de fiscales en Curitiba, Brasil

Panama dispatched a delegation to Brazil this week, and on Tuesday they met with officials from the Ministry of Justice. But a meeting planned for Thursday in the city where the investigation is taking place never took place. Panama officials say it was cancelled, but Brazilian authorities said it was never scheduled. They also said the initial meeting on Tuesday was not previously planned.

"While the meeting was not previously scheduled, the Panamanian authorities were immediately received by Brazilian authorities," said an official statement from Brazil about the meeting.

Comunicado de la Procuraduría General de la República de Brasil Expandir Imagen
Comunicado de la Procuraduría General de la República de Brasil

On the content of the meetings, Brazilian officials are clear that they have requested specific information about bank accounts in Panama, and denied Panama's position that the request was too vague.

It said the request "does not differ from other orders which were honored by other countries."

It also called on Panama to respect international conventions that govern requests for judicial assistance.

It also noted that prosecutors from Brazil have traveled twice to Panama - in 2015 and 2016 - to discuss the case, but these meetings did not result in any progress being made.

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