Panama court finds ex-president Martinelli not guilty of spying charges

Panama City, August 10

A Panamanian court on Friday declared former president Ricardo Martinelli not guilty of charges that he spied on 150 people, including politicians, union leaders and journalists during his 2009-2014 presidency, and ordered his release.

According to the verdict read by one of the tribunal's three judges, prosecutors "failed to prove" their theory and "reasonable doubts arose" about the accusations presented.

The judges lifted a measure that prevented Martinelli from leaving the country. The former president was granted house arrest in June, after spending a year in preventive detention in a Panamanian jail.

Martinelli was extradited to Panama in June 2018 from the United States to face a variety of charges. He had been living in the United States since leaving Panama in 2015. Reuters