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Panama Money Launderer Luis Martinelli Faked Diplo Creds Now Remains Detained in EDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

EDNY COURT, Nov 23 – Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares is charged with money laundering tens of millions of dollars in bribes on behalf of a close relative who was a high-ranking government official in Panama.

After fighting extradition including by skirting Panama lockdown, he says he's ready to plead guilty but does not want to be detained. But he has been detained.          

     On November 16, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Magistrate Judge Marcia M. Henry held a detention proceeding. Inner City Press live tweeted it here. Martinelli was detained.

 Martinelli's lawyer appealed to EDNY District Judge Raymond J. Dearie, who heard the appeal (and dismissed it) on November 23. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:

Martinelli's lawyer: My client is in administrative segregation in the MDC. We had an emergency call with him on Friday but we're told he can't be produced today.

Judge Dearie: Let's proceeding. I have read all the pleadings.  Martinelli's lawyer: We are appealing

 Martinelli's lawyer: There has been a long relationship between US DOJ and Mr. Martinelli. Perhaps some of this should be sealed. This is a sophisticated chess game to charge Person-1, the unnamed person in the indictment.

 Martinelli's lawyer: I've seen murderers get US immigration deferred action in a week. But not Mr. Martinelli. So he left his home in Miami and left the country. Martinelli's lawyer: They we offered to wire them $7 million from his Swiss bank account. But they turned it down. 

 AUSA: Martinelli used proceeds from the sale of his yacht to pay the $1 million ICE bond. His proposed suretor just sold a house at $15 million. He got fake papers from the Central American Parliament to flee. He is a flight risk

 Judge Dearie: I'm generally in favor of bail. This case is unusual. Mr. Martinelli's lawyer calls it a long relationship with DOJ, but I would call it a courtship which has not yet lead to any action.

Judge Dearie: I'm reminded of the old bromide: Fool me one, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Being in the MDC is unfortunate. But there are boats to the Bahamas, chartered flights, false diplomatic credentials...

 Judge Dearie: He is a demonstrated flight risk. The proposed conditions do not assure the court of this gentleman's return. I enter a permanent order of detention for Mr. Martinelli.

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