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Thursday, April 24 2014 @ 04:55 AM EDT

Prosecutor Requests Trial For Javier Martin In The Murder of Don North

Expat Tales By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The Third Superior Prosecutor of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama, Sofanor Espinosa, has asked the Magistrates of the Second Superior Tribunal in Panama City to bring Javier Martin to trial. In his "prosecutor's opinion" Number 47 of 2012, Espinosa asked the judges to haul Javier Martin before the bench to be tried for the murder of Don North. In addition to the primary charge of murder, Javier Martin is also facing trial for the crimes of theft, the illegal possession and commercialization of prohibited weapons, and the illegal use of a credit card belonging to Don North. You might recall Javier Martin is the Spaniard charged with the murders of the American Don North, who he allegedly killed in the San Blas islands in the Guna Yala in January 2011, and the Frenchman Jean Pierre Bouhard, in the area of Portobelo in February 2011. (more)

The prosecutor's opinion is dated 29 February 2012. Javier Martin was arrested in Santa Fe in the province of the Darien on Valentine's day last year - Monday, 14 February 2011 - so the prosecutor had run out of time - one year after Javier Martin's arrest - and was forced by the time restraints placed upon him by the law to issue this opinion at that time. Today the Magistrates of the Second Superior Tribunal are drafting their response, which has not yet been issued.

The judges have three options. They might simply accept the case as it is and call Javier Martin to trial. If that's their decision, then they will simply set a date for a preliminary hearing. The second option is, upon reviewing the case and the evidence contained in the case file prepared by the prosecutor, the Magistrates can return the file to the prosecutor and order him to conduct and "expansion" or an "amplification." The judges tend to do this if there's something blatantly missing from the evidence. Say, for example, that maybe the prosecutor might have failed to obtain a sworn statement from a key witness, and the judges think that statement might end up being critical in the case. They can send the file back and order the expansion or amplification, and this gives the prosecutor six more months to work on developing evidence, or whatever. The third option - highly unlikely in this case - is that the judges of the Second Superior Tribunal can decide to simply dismiss the case and all charges. The evidence against Javier Martin is so overwhelming that the chances of this happening are practically nil.

Related Articles: If you read these articles in order, you can see how this story developed as it was breaking.

That's Not All Of Them, But It's More Than Enough: Now the situation will evolve further to it's next logical step - the trial of Javier Martin for the murder of Don North and the other crimes for which he has been charged. The justice system in Panama is painfully slow, and it takes a very long time, but in cases like this they tend to get it right. The prosecutor is still working on the case of Jean Pierre Bouhard, and it has not yet been sent to the judges. Soon, I'm told. In the meantime, Javier Martin isn't going anywhere.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Prosecutor Requests Trial For Javier Martin In The Murder of Don North | 1 comments | Create New Account
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Prosecutor Requests Trial For Javier Martin In The Murder of Don North
Authored by: oldmanandthesea on Monday, June 11 2012 @ 11:29 AM EDT

Don, you seem to be the only press in Panama that pursues these cases. Hopefully some day you will get credit where credit is due. Perhaps the Pulitzer?

Clyde