According to the Penal Code of the Republic of Panama, a witness, expert, interpreter, or translator who, before the competent authority, asserts a falsehood or denies or conceals the truth, in whole or in part of their statement, opinion, interpretation, or translation, shall be punished with imprisonment from two to four years.
When the crime is committed in a criminal case to the detriment of the accused or forms the basis on which a judicial authority issues a sentence, the imprisonment shall be from four to six years.
Exempt from punishment for the offense outlined in the previous article are:
- The witness who, if they had told the truth, would have exposed a close relative or themselves to serious danger to their freedom or honor.
- Anyone who, due to their procedural status, should not have been questioned as a witness or had the right to be informed that they could refrain from testifying.
Anyone using physical force, threats, intimidation, offering money or other benefits to a witness, expert, interpreter, or translator to induce them to provide a false statement, opinion, interpretation, or translation, or obstructing their presentation or the submission of evidence in a legal proceeding, shall be punished with imprisonment from two to three years or its equivalent in fine days or weekend arrest.
The same penalty shall apply to the witness, expert, interpreter, or translator who accepts the promised payment or benefit.
Anyone using physical force, threats, intimidation, or the promise, offer, or granting of an undue benefit to induce false testimony or obstruct the giving of testimony or the submission of evidence in a proceeding related to the commission of crimes such as organized crime, money laundering, drug-related offenses, human trafficking, illegal arms trafficking, terrorism and financing of terrorism, commercial sexual exploitation and pornography involving minors, kidnapping and extortion, homicide and serious physical or psychological injuries, theft and robbery of vehicles, their parts and components, genetic manipulation, piracy, financial crimes, crimes against public administration, crimes against the environment, illicit association, crimes against the nation’s historical heritage, counterfeiting of currency, and other securities shall be punished with imprisonment from four to six years.
Anyone using physical force, threats, intimidation, or the promise, offer, or granting of an undue benefit to obstruct or prevent the fulfillment of the official functions of an official from the investigative agencies, the Judiciary, or the Public Prosecutor’s Office responsible for enforcing the law shall be punished with imprisonment from five to ten years.
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