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Panamanian Justice acquits 28 people linked to the ‘Panama Papers’

The Panamanian Justice has this Friday acquitted 28 people accused of money laundering in relation to the high-profile case of the ‘Panama Papers’ and has ordered the lifting of all precautionary measures against the accused, the country’s judicial body reported in a statement.

“The second liquidating judge of Criminal Cases, Baloísa Marquínez, by ruling No. 3 of June 28, 2024, acquitted the people accused of the crime against the economic order in the form of money laundering, in the accumulated cases of the cases called ‘Panama Papers’ and ‘Lava Jato’, followed by the law firm Mossack Fonseca and its collaborators, as well as citizens of German nationality,” the aforementioned note reads.

In this way, the sentence handed down by Marquínez orders the “lifting of the personal and real precautionary measures that weigh against all the defendants” and also contemplates “the exemption from criminal action for the death of one of those identified in the process.” .

In the case of the ‘Panama Papers’, Justice has determined that “the evidence collected from the servers of the Mossack Fonseca law firm (…) did not comply with the chain of custody, as well as the principles that govern the evidence digital mainly by lacking ‘hash’ values ​​that would allow us to be certain of its authenticity and integrity”.

Likewise, the judge considered that “the rest of the evidence was not sufficient or conclusive to determine the criminal responsibility of the accused, both for the funds from Germany and those from Argentina,” the statement added.

In April 2016, a leak of more than eleven million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca revealed the involvement of politicians, businessmen and personalities from around the world in companies located in tax havens and that could have been used to evade taxes.

Among the names included were those of heads of state such as the then presidents of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, and of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. Likewise, people from the closest circle of the presidents of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and of Syria, Bashar al Assad, or the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi. In total there are 72 heads or former heads of state who with these companies evaded taxes, laundered money and avoided sanctions, according to the investigation.

The leak affected 200,000 companies, approximately two-thirds of the firms managed by Mossack Fonseca. An anonymous source delivered the documentation to the German newspaper ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’, who shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which brings together 107 news companies from 78 countries.

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