On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Judge John O'Sullivan charged Alex Saab with eight money laundering and conspiracy counts. Through these politically motivated accusations, the U.S. government seeks to punish the Bolivarian Special Envoy, who participated in international purchases of food for the Venezuelan people.
Sao Paulo Forum Condemns Alex Saab Extradition
During the hearing, which was conducted via teleconference, the defense team requested bail for Saab. O'Sullivan denied this request and determined that the diplomat will remain in pre-trial detention pending the Nov. 1 hearing.
"I will face the trial with full dignity. I did not commit any crime and do not intend to cooperate with this country, which imposes unilateral coercive policies against Venezuela," Saab stated.
While he was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. on Saturday, Saab also denounced that this African country’s authorities detained him without a court order, denied him access to food, and prevented him from meeting his lawyers and family in prison.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Justice Court and the U.S. National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) condemned the mistreatment of Saab in Cape Verdean prison and ruled that his detention was illegal.
"Even if the charges against Saab were legal, which they are not, the U.S. justice could not prosecute him since he is not an U.S. citizen," the UNAC stated.
“Despite all the adversities he faces, Saab will never surrender before the United States. He will reunite with his family. We trust that justice shall prevail,” his wife Camilla Fabri said.