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“Panama Papers” key figure dies

For years, Ramón Fonseca helped rich people hide their assets in tax havens. This became public with the “Panama Papers”. Now the 71-year-old has died. The verdict in the money laundering trial will be made soon.

A few weeks before the expected verdict in the “Panama Papers” trial, one of the key figures in the financial scandal, the Panamanian lawyer Ramón Fonseca, died. He was one of the partners at the law firm Mossack Fonseca, which was at the center of the scandal over hiding assets in offshore companies. A cause of death was not given.

Fonseca, co-founder of the now-defunct law firm Mossack Fonseca, died of old age in a hospital in Panama City, local media reported. The public prosecutor's office had demanded twelve years in prison for Fonseca and his former business partner, Jürgen Mossack, who is of German descent.

The verdict is due to be pronounced at the beginning of June

The law firm Mossack Fonseca is said to have founded 215,000 shell companies in tax havens in which politicians, celebrities and athletes from all over the world concealed their assets. Eight years after the scandal broke, a total of 29 defendants appeared in court in Panama in April. The verdict in the money laundering trial is expected by the beginning of June at the latest.

Fonseca was unable to appear at the hearing in person because he had been taken to a clinic.

“A great person, lawyer, writer and politician. May he rest in peace,” wrote Panama's ex-President Ricardo Martinelli, who ruled between 2009 and 2014, on the platform X. Fonseca was the victim of cruel persecution.

In spring 2016 they had NDR, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and other media outlets from the Network of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) disclosed the business of the shell companies founded in Panama. As a result of a huge data leak, 11.5 million documents were leaked to the newspaper. Almost 400 reporters from more than 80 countries took part in the research.

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