Panamanian court orders ex-President Martinelli to retry over espionage case

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli greets during anti-drug summit at Santo Domingo Hotel in Antigua

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – A Panamanian court has ordered a retrial of former President Ricardo Martinelli in a case alleging he illegally spied on politicians, union leaders and journalists during his 2009-2014 presidency, the top reported on Friday the country’s prosecutor.

The appeals court rejected Martinelli’s 2019 not guilty verdict, but did not set a date for the new trial.

Prosecutor Ricaurte Gonzalez cited what he described as “an incorrect assessment of much of the evidence” presented in the previous trial.

Supermarket tycoon who sought a political return in 2019, the former president was accused of ordering the interception of telecommunications without judicial authorization for some 150 people.

Martinelli maintained his innocence and accused his successor and former ally Juan Carlos Varela of conspiring against him.

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