• Costa Rica Coffee Guide
  • Costa Rica Real Estate

Another former Panamanian minister arrested in graft probe

June 5, 2015

PANAMA CITY – A former Panamanian government official was arrested Thursday night over suspected corruption, the latest ex-minister to be nabbed in a widening graft probe into the administration of ex-President Ricardo Martinelli.

Former Agriculture Minister Óscar Osorio was arrested after a lengthy interrogation over the award of a public contract to an Ecuadoran company, for which onetime Vice President Felipe Virzi was arrested Wednesday.

Anti-corruption prosecutors ordered Virzi’s arrest after probing the awarding of an irrigation system contract and alleging he received a $5 million payment.

Attorneys for Osorio and Virzi told journalists their clients were innocent.

Numerous close associates of Martinelli have been swept up in an anti-corruption probe that may be zeroing in on the former president who held office from 2009 to 2014.

A former economy minister was arrested Monday, while an ex-social development minister was jailed March 4.

President Juan Carlos Varela estimates the corruption under Martinelli at some $100 million.

Martinelli, 63, who has left the country, says the investigation is politically motivated.

On his Twitter account Friday, Martinelli called the charges “political persecution.”

The ex-president is under investigation by Panama’s Supreme Court in a case involving multi-million-dollar cost overruns in food contracts for the country’s public schools.

You may be interested

Costa Rica adds 37 more coronavirus cases
Costa Rica
20314 views
Costa Rica
20314 views

Costa Rica adds 37 more coronavirus cases

Alejandro Zúñiga - June 4, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 37 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 1,194 cumulative known cases, the Health…

Pandemic leads Moody’s to drop Costa Rica’s ratings forecast
Costa Rica
739 views
Costa Rica
739 views

Pandemic leads Moody’s to drop Costa Rica’s ratings forecast

Alejandro Zúñiga - June 4, 2020

Moody's Investor Services, a United States-based financial company, changed its outlook on Costa Rica's ratings from stable to negative. The…

Costa Rica’s VP expresses solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement
Costa Rica
93 views
Costa Rica
93 views

Costa Rica’s VP expresses solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement

The Tico Times - June 4, 2020

Costa Rica's First Vice President, Epsy Campbell, this week expressed her solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in a…