There's an interesting analysis out by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), titled "Titling Scams and Suspicious Canal Bids: Panamanian Corruption Spreads to Land Holdings and Prominent Politicians". It goes into the various corrupt land grabs that president Martinelli and his associates are perpetrating in Panama, and brings some older news about corruption in the Canal expansion project and Martinelli's ties with corruption in the Italian government of Berlusconi.
But the land grabbing is where it gets interesting. Here's a quote:
In addition, Martinelli recently has begun to question Papadimitriu’s involvement in the land scandals and has now called for investigations against Papadimitriu.
Now here's what COHA doesn't mention in its analysis and what makes this so juicy: What does Papadimitriu have that Martinelli doesn't?
That's right. Papadimitriu is also a US citizen. Therefore, if he was to be found involved in a corruption and bribery scandal, he can be prosecuted under the US Foreign Corruption Act. And there's no way he or his friends can strong-arm the courts in such a case like they routinely do with the kangaroo courts in Panama.
So why is Martinelli leaning on Papadimitriu? Because Martinelli wants loyalty, and Papadimitriu may not necessarily be loyal, because we're obviously not the first ones to describe the legal hot water he may find himself in (hint: the gringos told him the same).
Add to that that Martinelli is an ultra-paranoid mobster, always seeing plots being hatched against him in every corner, and, in fact, he may be right these days. It's only a matter of time before he starts appointing his crooked friends in the Canal administration - which is only one of the reasons that may force him not to finish his term. And who would be next in line to succeed him then? Right.