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Panama suspends Supreme Court justice close to Martinelli over corruption charges

  • Panamanian Supreme Court judge Alejandro Moncada Luna, center, leaves the National Assembly building after appearing in front of a committee after being suspended on corruption allegations, in Panama City, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Justice Moncada Luna linked to former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli was suspended in a landmark corruption case that alleges that he profited from his ties to the former conservative leader. As part of the ruling by lawmakers leading an impeachment probe, Moncada's assets were temporarily frozen. He was also ordered to turn over his passport and remain confined to his residence. (AP Photo)

    Panamanian Supreme Court judge Alejandro Moncada Luna, center, leaves the National Assembly building after appearing in front of a committee after being suspended on corruption allegations, in Panama City, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Justice Moncada Luna linked to former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli was suspended in a landmark corruption case that alleges that he profited from his ties to the former conservative leader. As part of the ruling by lawmakers leading an impeachment probe, Moncada's assets were temporarily frozen. He was also ordered to turn over his passport and remain confined to his residence. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Panamanian Supreme Court judge Alejandro Moncada Luna, center, attends his impeachment probe at the National Assembly building on corruption allegations, in Panama City, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Justice Moncada Luna linked to former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli was suspended in a landmark corruption case that alleges that he profited from his ties to the former conservative leader. As part of the ruling by lawmakers leading the probe, Moncada's assets were temporarily frozen. He was also ordered to turn over his passport and remain confined to his residence. (AP Photo)

    Panamanian Supreme Court judge Alejandro Moncada Luna, center, attends his impeachment probe at the National Assembly building on corruption allegations, in Panama City, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Justice Moncada Luna linked to former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli was suspended in a landmark corruption case that alleges that he profited from his ties to the former conservative leader. As part of the ruling by lawmakers leading the probe, Moncada's assets were temporarily frozen. He was also ordered to turn over his passport and remain confined to his residence. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

A Supreme Court justice close to former President Ricardo Martinelli has been suspended over charges of corruption.

Judge Alejandro Moncada has been battling for weeks accusations he profited from his ties to Martinelli after an aide leaked documents showing he bought two luxury apartments incompatible with his $10,000-a-month salary and valued at over $1.7 million

As part of Monday's ruling by lawmakers leading a probe against Moncada the justice's assets were temporarily frozen. He was also ordered to turn over his passport and remain confined to his residence.

Moncada denies any wrongdoing and said he's the victim of political persecution.

Analysts said the case was a watershed in Panama's fight against corruption. Never since democracy was restored in the 1990s has a high court judge been removed from the bench.