Former Panama’s president Ricardo Martinelli, is accused of embezzlement, insider trading and using public funds to spy on his rivals.
Panama’s Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant on Monday for former President Ricardo Martinelli on charges of corruption and illegal espionage.
Martinelli, an ex-Citigroup banker who owns a popular chain of supermarkets, is believed to be worth over US$1 billion, according to Bloomberg. Now believed to be living in Miami, Florida, Martinelli now stands accused of having gained some of that wealth illegally, having allegedly engaged in insider trading while in office.
Martinelli his also accused of embezzlement, selling presidential pardons and using state money to illegally wiretap more than 100 people.
On Dec. 11, a Panamanian judge ordered Martinelli to be tried in absentia after he failed to attend a hearing on his case. The former president left Panama in January 2015.
While declining to attend the proceedings against him, on Twitter Martinelli argued he was the victim of injustice.
Panama’s current president, Juan Carlos Varela, served as Martinelli’s vice president from 2009 to 2014 before the two had a falling out