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Miami : El Tiempo: US refuses to annul fugitive warrant against Alex Saab

Miami :

The Court of the southern district of Florida on Monday denied the request of Álex Saab’s defense to annul the international fugitive order and suggests that the said figurehead of Nicolás Maduro surrender to the US justice system.

In addition, he says that they will insist that he appear before the authorities and offers him to submit to the United States justice. The decision, first known to EL TIEMPO, also indicates that it is not clear that those who presented the request or motion for annulment are their legal counsel, since they did not present documentary support to prove it.

Federal Court decision against Álex Saab. Photo: TIME

In fact, they assure that it is possible that the defense commission was made through a third person, including the Nicolás Maduro regime.

The law office they are referring to is Baker Hostetler, who filed the special motion. The Court asked that office to show the contract with Saab, but they have not done so.

In addition, the decision says that Saab did not have the right to motion, because it knew that it was already being investigated and yet, it did not appear to answer for the federal charges it has and that include money laundering operations linked to corruption and the regime of Mature.

Mature behind?

In his defense, the lawyers office explained the unusual circumstances of this criminal case, referring to the fact that his client was imprisoned in Cape Verde since June 12, 2020. In addition, it pointed out that there can be no obligation to present a power of attorney.

However, the Court notes in its decision that the government wants to ensure that it was dealing with lawyers who truly represented the interests of Saab and not those of a third party, including representatives of the Maduro regime.

Zero immunity

“It is well established that a fugitive does not have the right to have the court, to which he refuses to appear, resolve his case,” the decision states.

And he reminds him that the accusation against him was presented in that court on July 25, 2019, and was taken up by the media. Furthermore, the OFAc had already sanctioned him. They even mention that at that time, a law office began to represent the aforementioned figurehead of Nicolás Maduro.

Furthermore, when questioned after his provisional arrest in Cape Verde, Saab admitted that “he knew there were charges against him in the US, that there was an international investigation into him, and he also knew there was an investigation against him. in Colombia ”, indicates the Court.

The decision of the federal Court also indicates that they do not recognize Saab as a diplomat and therefore, neither do they recognize his immunity, alleged both by the Maduro regime and his defense in Cape Verde.

And to prove the United States’ fugitive status, the Court recalls that Saab and its co-conspirators had important contact with that country: “This is especially evident in the dependence on Saab and its accomplices in the financial system, including the use of a bank, to move US dollars from one foreign bank account to another ”.

The decision is expected to be appealed within the established term. Meanwhile, the Cape Verdean Court is making progress in defining Saab’s extradition.

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