Italy Will Cooperate With Panama In Lavitola Bribery Investigation
Saturday, July 21 2012 @ 08:49 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Public Ministry sources told this newspaper that the office of the prosecutor of Naples, which is investigating Lavítola, has accepted the request for legal assistance presented by his Panamanian counterpart last April. In response they have promised to provide the evidence collected against Lavitola in the investigation, which began last September 2011, to the Panamanian authorities.
This request for judicial assistance is part of the investigation Ayu Prado opened last May into the alleged payment of bribes to Panamanian officials, which supposedly took place in 2010, in the midst of a negotiation between the Ministry of Government and the company Svemark for the construction of modular prisons in the country.
Roxana Mendez, who was the Minister of Government at the time, and who is now the Mayor of Panama City, and other government officials including President Ricardo Martinelli, have denied the payment of those bribes.
Lavítola, who was instrumental in the negotiations between Panama and the Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica for the $250 million contract to buy radars, helicopters, and digital mapping serves, is in prison in Italy and awaiting trial on this case. (Prensa)