Spanish version

JUDICIAL AFFAIRS

Witnesses testify in wiretapping case

The Supreme Court is investigating former President Ricardo Martinelli in the case.

Spanish version

Temas:

Former PRD Deputy Yassir Purcait is one of the witnesses who has testified that former President Ricardo Martinelli knew about illegal wiretaps conducted while he was in office.

The former deputy said that he was summoned to Martinelli's chambers in 2011 to listen to recordings of intercepted phone calls to show him people were plotting against him.

Based on that fact, Purcait says that he is convinced that Martinelli had knowledge of the wiretaps done by the National Security Council during the last government.

The investigation is being handled by Judge Harry Díaz. According to investigations, the illegal surveillance affected about 150 people, including opposition politicians, trade union leaders, judges and journalists. The investigation began on Aug. 13 after the Electoral Tribunal lifted the immunity to Martinelli.

Purcait gave details of how it all happened. He was in the National Assembly when he was approached by CD Deputy José Muñoz, who told him that Martinelli had prevented a crime against him.

There he heard recordings of phone conversations of people allegedly plotting to assault him.

"I felt daunted, I didn't know if it was a threat or blackmail to damage my image," said Purcait, who at that time was a strong critic of the government of Martinelli. "Although I did not recognize the voices, it was clear that Martinelli had the ability to access privte material."

There have been nine other witnesses interviewed in the case. In addition to Martinelli, four former National Security Council officials have also been charged.

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