World

Suspended judge on Panama's Supreme Court sentenced to 5 years in prison for corruption

  • Alejandro Moncada Luna, 58, suspended Supreme Court justice facing corruption related charges, attends a hearing in Panama's National Assembly, in Panama City, Thursday, March 5, 2015. A three-member judicial panel sentenced Moncada Luna on Thursday to five years in prison for unjustified enrichment. It is the first case of a criminal conviction against a member of Panama’s highest court. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

    Alejandro Moncada Luna, 58, suspended Supreme Court justice facing corruption related charges, attends a hearing in Panama's National Assembly, in Panama City, Thursday, March 5, 2015. A three-member judicial panel sentenced Moncada Luna on Thursday to five years in prison for unjustified enrichment. It is the first case of a criminal conviction against a member of Panama’s highest court. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)  (The Associated Press)

  • Alejandro Moncada Luna, 58, suspended Supreme Court justice facing corruption related charges, attends a hearing in Panama's National Assembly, in Panama City, Thursday, March 5, 2015. A three-member judicial panel sentenced Moncada Luna on Thursday to five years in prison for unjustified enrichment. It is the first case of a criminal conviction against a member of Panama’s highest court. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

    Alejandro Moncada Luna, 58, suspended Supreme Court justice facing corruption related charges, attends a hearing in Panama's National Assembly, in Panama City, Thursday, March 5, 2015. A three-member judicial panel sentenced Moncada Luna on Thursday to five years in prison for unjustified enrichment. It is the first case of a criminal conviction against a member of Panama’s highest court. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)  (The Associated Press)

  • Alejandro Moncada Luna, 58, suspended Supreme Court justice facing corruption related charges, listens to his lawyer Ramiro Jarvis, during a hearing in Panama's National Assembly, in Panama City, Thursday, March 5, 2015. A three-member judicial panel sentenced Moncada Luna on Thursday to five years in prison for unjustified enrichment. It is the first case of a criminal conviction against a member of Panama’s highest court. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

    Alejandro Moncada Luna, 58, suspended Supreme Court justice facing corruption related charges, listens to his lawyer Ramiro Jarvis, during a hearing in Panama's National Assembly, in Panama City, Thursday, March 5, 2015. A three-member judicial panel sentenced Moncada Luna on Thursday to five years in prison for unjustified enrichment. It is the first case of a criminal conviction against a member of Panama’s highest court. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)  (The Associated Press)

A three-member judicial panel in Panama has sentenced a suspended Supreme Court justice to five years in prison for unjustified enrichment in an unusual case of corruption that captured the Central American nation's attention.

The tribunal on Thursday approved an agreement in which former high court justice Alejandro Moncada Luna pleaded guilty to the charges. He was then transferred to jail. Moncada Luna had been under house arrest during the judicial process.

In 2009, Moncada Luna was named to a 10-year-term as one of nine Supreme Court justices under the administration of then-President Ricardo Martinelli.

The three-member panel suspended Moncada Luna as a justice in October and placed him under house arrest. It was the first case of a criminal conviction against a member of Panama's highest court.