This statement is being made in response to certain press and other reports that we are aware are circulating on the internet; and is being issued simultaneously in Kingston, Jamaica and in Panama City, Panama.
We confirm that On December 29th 2015 emerging entrepreneur Mayer Mizrachi Matalon (28), a dual Panamanian and Jamaican citizen, was arrested in Cartagena, Colombia. His arrest and subsequent detention was the result of an Interpol ‘Red Notice’ and Arrest Warrant issued by Judicial Authorities in Panama. Two days later, the Panamanian authorities verbally requested Mayer’s extradition.
According to legal representatives retained on Mayer’s behalf in Colombia and Panama, the issuance of the Interpol Notice and Arrest Warrant, as well as the extradition request, are all acts in violation of both Colombian and Panamanian law. The primary prerequisite for an Interpol Red Notice or extradition request to be issued and acted upon is that the subject of the Red Notice or extradition request must have been formally charged with a crime in the issuing jurisdiction – in this case Panama. The Panamanian authorities are currently conducting an investigation surrounding an administrative contract between the Department for Government Innovation (AIG), a Panamanian government agency, and Innovative Ventures S.A., a software company of which Mayer is the CEO. No criminal charges have been made in connection with this investigation and Mayer has not been charged with any crime in Panama or elsewhere. The essential legal prerequisites for the issuance of a Red Notice and extradition request have not therefore been met.
Mayer has for the last several years resided in New York City where he is the founder and CEO of Criptext LLC (www.criptext.com), an affiliate of Innovative Ventures S.A. The company develops and markets secure email and messaging applications that have been the subject of extensive coverage and plaudits in a number of respected technology industry journals, as well as in Forbes and Time magazines. Criptext was also recognized in 2014 by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) as one of the 16 most innovative startups in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In 2014 Mayer entered into a contract valued at approximately US$194,000 with the Department for Government Innovation (AIG) in Panama to supply 100 user licenses for a version of Criptext’s software platform modified to suit the requirements of the department in question. The platform was delivered to the satisfaction of the AIG and was used extensively by its officers and directors both past and present. The terms and conditions of the contract with AIG were therefore fully satisfied.
Mayer’s legal advisors, including former Presidents of the Supreme Courts of Justice in Panama and Colombia, consider that the arrest warrant, the Interpol Red Notice, and the proceedings of the Administrative and Judicial Panamanian Authorities are contrary to both Panamanian law and the relevant extradition treaty. His detention in Colombia, as a result of the above-mentioned illegal acts is also contrary to Panamanian and Colombian law, as well as the extradition treaty signed and ratified by both nations.
Mayer’s legal representatives in Panama and Colombia consider that the Red Notice, his detention and the subsequent extradition request have all been executed illegally and in violation of his fundamental human rights. They however have full confidence in the impartiality of the Colombian Authorities in the positive resolution of this painful situation for Mayer, his family, his professional network, and his colleagues and friends, all of whom know him to be an honest person, dutiful of his obligations to society and under the law.
Any further information requests on this matter should be referred to Mayer’s legal representatives in Jamaica, Lord Anthony Gifford Q.C. (telephone 945-1014) or Ms. Caroline Hay (telephone 579-6795).
Dated: January 14th 2016