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Audience for Martinelli to be Monday

Temas:

The Supreme Court will have a hearing Monday in the case involving former President Ricardo Martinelli for the alleged offense of crimes against public administration.

The court said that the hearing was requested by Martinelli's lawyers Sidney Sitton and Rogelio Cruz.

Sitton has said that his client may not be investigated, since he enjoys immunity that he acquired when the Democratic Change (CD) party - which Martinelli founded - convened internal elections to be held in October.

The CD called these elections after the Tribunal Electoral (TE) suspended the immunity from the May 2014 general elections that protected Martinelli.

Martinelli also claims that he has immunity as a member of the Central American Parliament, a position he assumed on July 1, 2014, i.e., the same day that he left office. Previously, Martinelli had disowned the group, which publicly described as "den of thieves".

The former president is being investigated for irregularities in the purchase of food for $44.9 million from the company Lerkshore International Ltd. through the National Aid Program (PAN).

Also facing charges are former PAN Director Giácomo Tamburrelli, former PAN Nutrition Director Angel Famiglietti, former Comptroller Gioconda Torres de Bianchini, former presidential private secretary Adolfo De Obarrio, Lerkshore representative Rubén De Ycaza, former ministers Lucy Molinar (Education) and Federico José Suárez (Public Works), and deputy ministers María Fábrega (Presidency) and Marta Susana de Varela (Social Development).

Martinelli left the country at the end of January and has not returned. As of mid-April he was staying in Miami.

The hearing next Monday will be before Judge Jerome Mejía.

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