Spokesman: US to extradite former Panamanian president

Spokesman: US to extradite former Panamanian president

Nauert said that Martinelli's extradition followed normal procedures established by the countries' bilateral extradition treaty.

Martinelli appeared handcuffed in photos shared by Panama's security ministry and was transported to Renacer prison, where former strongman Manuel Noriega, who died a year ago, had been held.

In May 2017, Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Martinelli with a so-called "red notice", a request to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition. About a month later, a US magistrate judge in the Southern District of Florida ruled the USA could extradite for foreign politician to face charges in his home country. This prompted Martinelli Berrocal to file in federal court in South Florida a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which asks a judge to determine if a person's imprisonment or detention is lawful. The court denied his petition in January 2018.

The State Department said on Monday it made the decision in accordance with a bilateral treaty and US laws.

Martinelli's attorney Roniel Ortiz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

WASHINGTON-The U.S. extradited Panama's former president, Ricardo Martinelli, to Panama on Monday to face criminal charges relating to corruption and illegal wiretaps while he served as the country's leader. Under this council, a "Special Services" unit carried out confidential activities at the president's direction, including the unsanctioned intercept and recording of communications from the cell phones and computers of Martinelli's identified targets. Martinelli had initially contested his extradition in the US, but dropped his appeals.

With the extradition now complete, Martinelli's case will now move forward in the Panamanian legal system.

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