INTERNATIONAL

Argentina requests information from Panama

The case involves a bribe allegedly paid to Panama officials by Telespazio Argentina, S.A.

The case is also being investigated in Panama.

Temas:

Franco Picardi, a federal prosecutor in Argentina, has filed a request for judicial assistance with the Public Ministry as part of the investigation into alleged bribes paid by Telespazio Argentina, S.A. to officials in Panama, including former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014).

Telespazio and the Ministry of Public Works signed a contract in 2010 for 15.7 million euros for the installation, maintenance and financing of a digital mapping system.

In his request, the prosecutor asked Panama to provide a certified copy of the agreement, the names of people who worked in the ministry from 2010 to 2014 and whether any of them traveled to Argentina in that period.

In addition, he asked Panama to confirm whether or not Telespazio officials Edgardo Nicolas De Gracia or Dario César Ventimiglia traveled to Panama during that period, as well as seven other company officials. Nicolas De Gracia and Ventimiglia have already been charged with paying bribes in exchange for the contract.

The Telespazio deal was part of a larger, $250 million defense contract that Panama signed with the Italian consortium Finmeccanica. In addition to the mapping system, the deal also included the purchase of helicopters and a radar system.

That deal has resulted in allegations that Panama officials were paid a $25 million bribe, and it has prompted criminal investigations in Italy and Panama, as well as the one in Argentina.

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