U.S. Embassy Statement Regarding the Arrest and Detention of Ricardo Martinelli in the United States

We can confirm that United States Marshals arrested former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli, on June 12, 2017, in Coral Gables, Florida, pursuant to an extradition request presented in September 2016 by the Government of Panama.

He was held overnight at the Federal Detention Center, Miami, and made an appearance today, June 13, before United States Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  Judge Torres has ordered that Mr. Martinelli remain in custody until at least June 20, when it is anticipated that there will be a second hearing.

Mr Martinelli is being well-treated and has access to his legal counsel.

The presentation of the extradition request by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida on behalf of the government of Panama was done pursuant to the bilateral extradition treaty between the two countries. The United States maintains with Panama, as it does with sovereign partners around the world, a strong and productive law enforcement relationship, one grounded in support of the rule of law.

As has been the U.S. Embassy’s practice, we will continue to refrain from making any substantive comments regarding the merits of Mr. Martinelli’s case, as this is the strict purview of the United States District Court.  All comments made by individuals who are not formal parties to those proceedings in Miami should be considered mere speculation and not authoritative.