01 Mar 2021
An aircraft belonging to former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli was detained at Guatemala’s international airport by the local anti-narcotics prosecutor’s office at the request of U.S. authorities, Guatemalan authorities said late on Friday.
The reasons for the United States requesting the operation were not immediately clear.
Guatemalan authorities said in a statement that the operation was carried out by the Prosecutor’s Office against Narcoactivity, with the support of a special unit focused on crimes in airports.
Martinelli, who served as president from 2009 to 2014, was extradited from the United States and jailed in Panama on charges that he had used public money to spy on political rivals while in office. He was released in 2019 after being found not guilty. Last year, he was banned from leaving the country while under investigation for money laundering.
By Elida Moreno, Sofia Menchu, Reuters, 27 February 2021
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