Contributed by: Don WinnerThe First Superior Tribunal of Justice rejected an application for the protection of constitutional guarantees presented by defense lawyers representing the former Director of the National Immigration Service María Cristina González, against a ruling issued by the Third Criminal Court judge Adolfo Mejia, who called her to trial with four others for the alleged forgery of visas. The resolution was issued on 24 August 2012, and had as the judge rapporteur Nelson Ruiz. In the petition, Gonzalez's defense lawyers argued that judge Mejia committed illegalities because during the preliminary hearing (on July 20) he did not decide several incidents of invalidation that had been presented by the lawyers Carlos Herrera Moran and Oswaldo Fernández, who are defending two of the nine accused. The appeals were denied as unfounded in the resolution dated 27 July 2012, which called Gonzalez and four others to trial. The court issued an edict on Monday, to notify the parties. (Prensa)
Editor's Comment: Watching these cases slowly grind their way through the legal system is a perfect testament as to why Panama has to switch to the new "accusatory" criminal system. Right now in Panama nothing is done in real time, in front of a judge, as you are probably accustomed to seeing in the United States for example. It's all done on paper, slowly, and it's very easy for a defense lawyer to delay the system literally for years, just by filing a whole stack of motions and petitions - which they normally do when they know their client will eventually be found guilty.