Ex-President of Panama, will be extradited from the US


"This extradition is a testament to the Department of Justice's commitment to honoring our extradition treaty obligations", Cronan said.

Martinelli was transferred to the hospital from the El Renacer prison at midnight Monday after receiving permission from the judge handling his case.

The 66-year-old is under investigation in Panama in about 20 other cases of corruption, but those are not referred to in the extradition request.

The International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, issued a warrant for Martinelli Berrocal's arrest in May 2017.

These targets included Martinelli's political allies and opponents, their family members, his business rivals, Panamanian judges, journalists, union activists, U.S. diplomats, and others. Martinelli's petition for a writ of habeas corpus was denied by the federal district court in the Southern District of Florida in January.

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

Martinelli is accused of spying on the telephone calls of more than 150 people, including journalists and politicians.

Martinelli's attorney Roniel Ortiz did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 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 is being extradited back to Panama to face political espionage and corruption charges.

Panamanian former president Ricardo Martinelli arrived home Monday after his extradition from the United States to face charges of spying on journalists and political opponents.