US extradite former President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli

Yesterday, the US State Department approved Panama’s request for the extradition of their former President Ricardo Martinelli. Mr Martinelli has been held in a Miami jail since last year after Panama requested his extradition to face charges of spying. Panama alleges that Mr Martinelli used public money to spy on more than 150 of his political rivals between 2009 and 2014. Mr Martinelli has maintained that he is not guilty, has expressed belief that the US will protect him whilst he helps the US authorities investigate cross-border crimes and has claimed that current President of Panama, Mr Juan Carlos Varela is attacking his reputation on political grounds.