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July 22, 2018

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Ex-Panama President Martinelli hospitalized before hearing

Updated Tuesday, July 10, 2018 | 2:05 p.m.

PANAMA CITY (AP) — The family and lawyers for former Panama President Ricardo Martinelli are again calling for his release from jail after he was hospitalized for a second time since his extradition from the United States last month.

A judge suspended a hearing Tuesday at which Martinelli was supposed to appear.

His wife, Marta de Martinelli, says he was hospitalized Monday evening with high blood pressure and other problems. She says the stress of pre-trial confinement and the hearings are jeopardizing his health.

So far the courts have not agreed to free him pending trial.

Martinelli was president from 2009 to 2014 and is facing charges of illegally intercepting communications and embezzlement among others. He denies any wrongdoing.