|Magistrate judges and their assignments|
This is not only a legal issue, but also a human rights matter; criminal defendants have an absolute right to have the legal sufficiency of the charges against them, in person, aided by counsel. The Panamanian magistrates were required to consider these matters, as an absolute priority. Why no decisions ? There is an abundance of evidence of payment of millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, by Odebrecht or its affiliates or associated companies.
Are the magistrates delaying justice because wealthy targets have paid them, directly or indirectly, to slow the cases down ? We cannot say, but if it eventually turns out that corruption was involved, perhaps Panama might want to make examples out of any magistrate who obstructs justice in the Odebrecht case, which is perhaps the most serious case, against Panamanian leaders, since Noriega.