In the last two weeks, former Minister of Public Security Jose Raul Mulino said that contracts signed between Panama and Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica were made based on the recommendations of a technical report on security made by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
Mulino has also been critical of statements made by Panama Ambassador to Italy Fernando Berguido, who has called the purchases rushed.
Mulino said that the report by McKinsey provided him with all the information he needed to make the purchases.
"I was not a minister who arrived with fear, I got to work," he said.
But a review of that report has contradicted statements by the minister, as it's recommendations were not followed.
For example, the firm advised Panama to repair its existing helicopters, but the state instead purchased new ones from Finmeccanica. It also did not recommend the purchase of any radars. The purchase of helicopters and radars made up the bulk of the $250 million contract.
Asked about these discrepancies, Mulino has now said he was obligated to purchase equipment from the Italian company under an agreement entered into by President Ricardo Martinelli.
"It was part of an international agreement, the country was obliged to buy from Finmeccanica," Mulino said.
He also continues to blame Juan Carlos Varela, who was foreign minister at the time.
While Panama and Italy had discussed security issues, not everyone agrees that Panama was obligated to purchase equipment.
"It was an 'agreement to agree,' as has been said several times," said Deputy Jorge Alberto Rosas. "Panama always had the authority to accept or not accept the recommendations."