Panama ex-President Martinelli hospitalized, 'stable'

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Panama ex-President Martinelli hospitalized, 'stable'

Nauert said Martinelli's extradition followed normal procedures established by the countries' bilateral extradition treaty.

Supporters of the former president planned to rally later Monday in front of Panama's Supreme Court.

Martinelli has maintained his innocence and said he is a victim of political persecution by current President Juan Carlos Varela, who previously served as his vice president. "I especially thank the hard-working attorneys and worldwide affairs specialists in the Office of global Affairs, as well as our partners in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District Florida, for their tireless efforts in support of this extradition". In August 2017 a U.S. magistrate judge ruled that Martinelli would be sent back to Panama.

In a brief statement released Sunday night, the Panamanian Foreign Ministry said that Martinelli remains in the custody of the government of the United States, until he is delivered to Panamanian authorities. He is accused of embezzlement and illegally monitoring phone calls and other communications.

Attorneys Marcos Daniel Jimenez of Coral Gables, David Adrian Howard of Miami, Ann Marie St. Peter-Griffith of Kasowitz Benson Torres, and John Richard Byrne and Jordi CarloSantiago Martinez-Cid of Leon Cosgrove represented Martinelli Berrocal. Martinelli is being extradited back to Panama to face political espionage and corruption charges.

With the extradition now complete, Martinelli's case will now move forward in the Panamanian legal system.

The United States has extradited former President Ricardo Martinelli to Panama in order to face criminal charges there, the US State Department said in a press release on Monday.

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