Panamanian ex-president arrested in Miami

George Tzokas
By George Tzokas
June 13, 2017US News
Panamanian ex-president arrested in Miami
Panamanian former president and deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) Ricardo Martinelli is seen during a parliament's plenary session in Guatemala city on January 29, 2015. Panama's Supreme Court has decided to open a corruption probe against Martinelli, a supermarket magnate, over allegations he inflated contracts worth $45 million to purchase dehydrated food for a government social program. Martinelli has denied the charges and says he is the target of political persecution by his successor, Juan Carlos Varela. AFP PHOTO/Johan Ordonez (Photo credit should read JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The Panamanian former president was taken into custody in Miami. Ricardo Martinelli is wanted on spying allegations in Panama. He will face an extradition hearing to decide if the United States will send him back.

He was president of Panama from 2009 to 2014. He is accused of spying on over 150 political rivals.

According to the Miami Herald, Martinelli fled to the United States days after Panamanian officials started to investigate him for embezzlement.

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