Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab will plead not guilty to charges brought by the U.S. government for alleged money laundering and conspiracy, his defense attorney Henry Bell informed Thursday.
US Federal Court Charges Ambassador Saab of Money Laundering
According to a press release, information making reference to the alleged intention of the Venezuelan special envoy to collaborate with the U.S. justice system was denied.
After 491 days of illegal detention in Cape Verde, Saab was extradited on October 16 to the United States. A court in the city of Miami charged him with seven counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit such actions, all of which were dismissed by the defense with solid arguments, the source indicated.
The next hearing is scheduled for November 1, when the diplomat will appear before Judge John O'Sullivan, who in the first appearance rejected the request for bail.
Venezuela accredited Alex Saab in 2018 as a special envoy, whose duties were to facilitate the procurement of medical supplies, food, and other essential goods, in the face of obstacles imposed by the U.S. blockade on the Bolivarian nation.
In mid-2020, the official was detained in Cape Verde at the request of Washington during a technical stopover of the aircraft carrying him, in disregard of the inviolability of the immunity corresponding to his diplomatic investiture.
According to accusations by the Bolivarian Executive, the detention was in response to the siege campaign orchestrated by the former U.S. administration against Venezuela to inflict more suffering on the people and destabilize its institutions and internal order.
In the declaration of principles read by his wife Camila Fabri during an act of solidarity held in Caracas, Saab asserted that he will face his trial with dignity, in addition to holding the U.S. authorities responsible for his physical integrity.
He stressed that he has not committed any crime and discarded any intention of collaborating with his captors in exchange for procedural benefits: “I will not lie to favor the United States," said the official.