Reuters International

Panama's former president Ricardo Martinelli (C) stands outside the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) in Guatemala City January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

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PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - Panama's Supreme Court on Thursday called on the Central American country's government to request the extradition of former President Ricardo Martinelli from the United States.

The court in December had ordered the detention of Martinelli, who is accused of using public money to spy on more than 150 people illegally.

Martinelli left Panama in January last year and is believed to be living in Miami. He had overseen a public works boom and Latin America's fastest economic growth in recent years, but his administration was tainted by allegations of corruption.

In December, a U.S. federal judge identified Martinelli as one of several alleged co-conspirators in a bribery scheme that helped software giant SAP sell millions of dollars in software to Panama, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.

(Reporting by Elida Moreno; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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