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Monday, November 20 2017 @ 02:39 AM EST

Ex-Panama supreme court head jailed for 5 years on graft charges

Corruption(Reuters) - A former head of the Panamanian supreme court was sentenced to five years in prison on corruption charges on Thursday, the first time an active judge in the country has been sent to jail.

Alejandro Moncada was sentenced by a three-person committee made up by members of Congress after pleading guilty last month to charges of illicit enrichment as well as falsifying documents.

Under Panamanian law, supreme court judges can only be investigated by members of the national Congress.

Moncada, who had been due to sit in the court until 2020, was appointed by ex-President Ricardo Martinelli, a bitter rival of current President Juan Carlos Varela.

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