Speaking in an interview offered to teleSur, attorney David Rivkin assured that Alex Saab's extradition was illegal and improper as the U.S. has no grounds to deny the Venezuelan official's diplomatic status.
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Rivkin offered an update on the appeal proceeding being taken before the 11th Circut Court of Appeal in Florida. He remarked that the legal team holds Saab's Special Envoy to Iran status granted by the Venezuelan government as a key element in his defense.
He noted that the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) arguments are "wrong and inconsistent" with national and international laws since the U.S. has no right to deny the diplomatic status agreed between Venezuela and Iran to Saab.
"We have strong confidence that our position will prevail and Alex Saab will be released... the U.S. government is legally obliged by U.S laws and International law to give diplomatic viability to Saab," Rivkin said.
Rivkin also explained that the hearing on Nov. 15 will not address Saab's diplomatic status but it will be an opportunity to obtain bail and address the conditions of his confinement.
He highlighted that Saab was extradited by Cape Verde authorities before a final Court decision was made, a situation which was "highly irregular, improper" and that will be brought to the attention of the U.S Court.
He also refused the DoJ argument that Cape Verdean authorities did not recognize either Saab's immunity while reiterating that the U.S. must respect diplomatic relations irrespectively of Cape Verdean decisions.
"I believe Saab has indeed been extradited illegally in the sense that Cape Verde violated its obligations both in not recognizing his immunity, as well as, the proceeding of extradition," Rivkin noted.