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Ex-president Martinelli extradited from US to Panama

AFP  |  Miami 

Panamanian former was extradited to his home country today to face charges of spying on journalists and political opponents.

Martinelli, 2009-2014, was transferred from the federal prison in to the Airport, where he was placed on a flight to City around 6:20 am (local time).

A handcuffed Martinelli, wearing a tan suit and escorted by US Mashals, greeted reporters gathered to see him at the airport.

"I'm ready to watch the World Cup!" he said, giving a thumbs-up. qualified for the tournament, which begins on Thursday.

Martinelli, 66, is accused of spying on the telephone calls of more than 150 people, including journalists and politicians.

He is under investigation in in about 20 other cases of corruption, but those are not referred to in the extradition request. Under a 1905 extradition treaty, he can only be tried in Panama for the crimes alleged in the request.

was detained in June 2017 and had been incarcerated in since then.

The ex-claims that he is the victim of a "vendetta" by Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, his former

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 17:40 IST