Mario Martinelli, brother of former President Ricardo Martinelli, has denied having anything to do with the company Hialing Corporation, which obtained lucrative contracts from the last government to sell backpacks to the Ministry of Education.
He made this declaration on Aug. 7 while being questioned in his home by prosecutors. He has been held under house arrest due to his medical condition.
Second Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Vielka Broce is investigating Martinelli for embezzlement, acts of fraud in public procurement and corruption of public servants.
Asked about his relationship to the company, Martinelli said it was one of his clients, but he denied owning any shares in the company or serving as a director. He also denied having a relationship with company official Pablo Ruiz Obregón, who is detained in the case.
Martinelli also denied having a relationship with Vafepa S.A., another company linked to Ruiz Obregón who sold backpacks to the government.
Ruiz Obregón has contradicted Martinelli in his statements, saying the brother of the former president was a majority shareholder of both companies.