20/12/2012 - Panama Tourism Administrator Solomon Shamah said today that attorney general nominee Ana Belfon, who is the current secretary of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of the Presidency, was not part of the political campaign for President Ricardo Martinelli in 2009.
In fact, the administrator said that "the president doesn't know Ana Belfon" and that she was recommended by Panama Governor Mayin Correa.
According to Shamah, "it's a natural designation and not political." He recalled that Belfon has served for 15 years in the Public Ministry (MP) and has an "impressive curriculum." He added that she has had an unblemished career.
Shamah said that "the resumes of the nominees speak for themselves," also referring to the appointment of José Ayú Prado as a new judge of the Supreme Court.
"We are not politicizing judicial issues," he said.
Belfon served as a prosecutor under the military dictatorship and most recently filed a complaint against opposition leader Balbina Herrera for allegedly disclosing e-mails of Martinelli.
Aurelio Barría, one of the founders of the Civil Crusade, criticized the designation of Belfon, saying: "What kind of independence and impartiality can we expect?"
He said he could not understand how a person who chased members of the crusade during the dictatorship can now be the attorney general, and that the appointment is a precursor to more persecution.
He anticipated large-scale demonstrations opposing the appointments.
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