Italy versus Martinelli

Uh oh… The Italian justice people are going after our beloved president and Italian citizen Ricky Martinelli! Accusation: taking bribes. How and for what? Well, it seems that Martinelli’s once best friend Valter Lavitola has been singing like a bird while in Argentina, and he paid bribes to Martinelli to obtain de contract for building new prisons.

Works like this: you let me build the prisons against an inflated price and as a thank you for that favor I pay you something under the table.

Lavitola, La Estrella reports, was driven around in Panama in a government car and had government body guards. They have that from Italian justice sources. Earlier, emails from Lavitola were revealed, showing his attempts at meddling in Panama Canal affairs.

The prisons are likely just the tip of the iceberg. There are also persistent accusations of corruption in a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase useless coastal radar systems from an Italian company.

Martinelli himself denies everything. Nobody believes him. Will Italy start prosecuting him?

About the author /


Okke Ornstein is an award winning journalist, TV/Radio producer and photographer from the Netherlands and currently based in Panama. Specialized in high-impact investigative journalism, his work has led to arrests, questions in parliament and the downfall of many frauds and swindles.

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