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JUDICIAL AFFAIRS

Martinelli and Shamah asked Fábrega to "take care of" FP

Temas:

Former Superintendency of Securities official Ignacio Fábrega has expanded his testimony of the involvement of former President Ricardo Martinelli's influence on his investigation of the brokerage house Financial Pacific (FP), currently in the process of liquidation.

Martinelli has denied links to FP, but according to Fabrega, the former President was a partner of the firm, contributing $3 million to its capitalization. He also gave orders to Fabrega as he was investigating a $12 million fraud at the firm.

When the original shareholders of FP, West Valdés and Ivan Clare, supposedly gave control to the Brazilian Group Mendo Sampaio, Martinelli telephoned Banco Universal President José Virzi to open an account for FP at the bank.

Fabrega said Martinelli asked the bank to open the account as a "personal favor." He made the statement before First Criminal Court Judge Rolando Quesada Vallespi during the hearing held last week in which pleaded guilty to the crime of corruption of a civil servant.

Fabrega also said that several meetings were held in the Presidency of the Republic with Martinelli and Tourism Authority Director Salomón Shamah to discuss FP. at one of these visits, he said the topic of High Spirit, the account at the firm owned by Martinelli was discussed.

"Shamah asked me to take care and assist them as much as I could," said Fabrega.

He also said that Shamah asked him to prevent a report on the brokerage house from being published before the elections.

"He said this is dirty politics which will cause a media scandal," Fabreha said of the former tourism official. "He said it would be fixed after the election."

He also said that he wasn't aware he was committing a crime.

"I always thought that this was my job," he said.

Fabrega is being detained at the Department of Judicial Investigation until he is sentenced. He faces up to eight years.

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