GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Guatemala on Monday extradited a son of former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli to the United States, where he and his brother face bribery and money laundering charges linked to Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht.
Luis Enrique Martinelli in the morning boarded an extradition flight bound for the United States, where he is wanted by a federal court in Brooklyn, New York.
Luis and his brother Ricardo Alberto Martinelli were arrested in July 2020 in Guatemala City as they attempted to board a flight to Panama. Ricardo Alberto’s extradition process is still pending in a Guatemalan court.
The U.S. Department of Justice alleges the Martinelli sons were intermediaries for the payment of some $28 million in bribes from Odebrecht to a high-ranking Panama official when their father was president of Panama between 2009 and 2014.
Denis Cuesy, an attorney for Martinelli, said U.S. lawyers were now handling the case, when asked about the accusations.
Former president Martinelli has spent the past few years embroiled in various criminal probes and was last week acquitted of wire-tapping charges linked to his time in office.
Martinelli has not been convicted of any crimes, but he remains subject to certain travel restrictions due to a separate ongoing investigation concerning Odebrecht.
(Reporting by Enrique Garcia; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)