Two sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli are suspected of receiving more than $50 million in undue payments from a Brazilian construction giant at the centre of an international bribe scandal, Panamanian prosecutors have said.
The Attorney General’s Office alleged in a statement that there were several multimillion-dollar transfers to Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enriquez Martinelli through accounts in Panama and abroad in 2010-2014.
It said the allegations are based on information from a cooperating witness in the investigation: Andre Campos Rabello, the former Panama manager for Brazil’s Odebrecht.
The family has denied involvement by the sons in the bribery scandal and alleges persecution by political foes.
The former president, who also denies any wrongdoing, is currently detained in the United States facing possible extradition to Panama on charges of embezzlement and political espionage.
Odebrecht has acknowledged paying nearly $800 million dollars in bribes in a dozen Latin American nations in return for favours and works contracts.