The Foreign Ministry said USA officials turned Martinelli over at Panama City's worldwide airport after a plane carrying him from Miami landed. On May 15 he asked the State Department to deny the extradition request, saying that he would be tortured in Panama.
A handcuffed Martinelli, escorted by USA officers, greeted reporters gathered at the airport.
Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (Congreso de la República del Perú, CC BY 2.0)The former Panamanian president, Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal, will stand trial in Panama on four charges related to an illegal wiretapping scheme purportedly orchestrated while he was in office between 2009 and 2014.
I am ready to see the World Cup (for which Panama qualified for the first time in history), he said making a gesture with his thumb up, the information added.
Under a 1905 extradition treaty, he can only be tried in Panama for the crimes alleged in the request.
Mr Martinelli was detained and taken into United States federal custody near his home in Coral Gables, Florida, in June 2017 after Panama issued an extradition request.
Federal agencies say the 66-year-old lived in Coral Gables, but other sources, like Newsroom Panama link him to a home on Brickell Avenue in Miami's Financial District. They did not give details of his arrival, but dozens of Martinelli's supporters gathered at the Tocumen worldwide airport, waving flags of the political party the former president founded, local television footage showed.
General Noriega died in May past year, aged 83, after serving time in prison in the USA and Panama for drug-trafficking, money laundering and racketeering.