MIAMI (AP) — A U.S. federal judge in Florida has denied bond for a former Panamanian president who is fighting efforts to send him back to his home country to face political espionage charges.
U.S. Magistrate Edwin Torres made his ruling Friday. The order points out that Ricardo Martinelli’s significant wealth and foreign connections make him a serious flight risk.
Martinelli was arrested in Miami last month on an extradition warrant from Panama. A final extradition hearing is set for July 25.
The former president failed to show up at a December 2015 court hearing in Panama on charges that include illegally monitoring phone and other conversations of at least 150 people with an extensive surveillance system he created with public funds. He denies wrongdoing and is seeking asylum.