Showing confidence concerning the energy of the case they’re dealing with, the legal professionals for Colombian businessman Alex Saab say that federal prosecutors know they will be unable to dismantle the diplomatic immunity that protects the alleged entrance man of the ruler Nicolás Maduro and that they’re due to this fact concentrating on delaying the trial. to see if he despairs and finally ends up cooperating.
They have been making an attempt to drive Saab to admit even since he’s in a cell in Cape Verde, the place “he was tortured” to extract info, Nancy Hollander alleged in a video convention along with his colleague on the protection group, David Rivkin.
“Why would the Justice Department do this, when they knew they were going to lose? I think what they wanted was to get information from Mr. Saab and I wanted him to provide information about the Maduro government that they could use ”to strengthen the movement led by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, Hollander told el Nuevo Herald.
“But he is not going to cooperate, he is not going to do it. He is a strong man, and the government failed in its efforts in Cape Verde ”and it will not succeed in the United States, he added.
Saab, who was extradited from Cape Verde in October, faces charges that he conspired with his partner Alvaro Pulido to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from corruption in Venezuela.
The case is being handled in the federal prosecutor’s office in Miami, the city in which Saab is imprisoned, but before the trial actually begins, the Eleventh Federal Court of Appeals in Atlanta must rule on the appeal previously presented by the defense that it alleges that Saab cannot be prosecuted because it enjoys diplomatic immunity.
Rivkin, who is involved in the defense before the appeals court, said that the way prosecutors are handling the case suggests that they are not very confident about the argument that Saab does not enjoy immunity.
“You can read the reports and feel what level of trust it underlines. So far the arguments are not among the strongest, ”said Rivkin, who plans to argue the case before the appeals court in April.
Saab was appointed by Maduro as a special envoy to Iran and the Caracas regime had argued in Cape Verde that he should be released because of it.
The argument was dismissed by the Cape Verdean courts, but Rivkin said that if the same happened this time, it would create a dangerous precedent for US diplomacy.
“It is enormously necessary to the pursuits of the United States that the precept of diplomatic immunity be revered as a result of the United States as a world energy has extra particular envoys than the complete world,” Rivkin said.
“It does not make sense that the United States can hunt down diplomats from other countries because it would be inevitable, in the world we live in today, that if we do something to a diplomat from another country, that has an impact on the way we that other countries treat us, “he added.
For many Venezuelans, the argument towards Saab’s immunity is sensible as a result of Washington doesn’t acknowledge Maduro because the authentic president of the oil nation and his actions are invalid.
Rivkin, nonetheless, emphasised that the United States maintains an “eclectic” place on the Venezuelan authorities, recognizing some Maduro officers when it fits them and ignoring others within the midst of its diplomatic battle towards the Caracas regime.
But Rivkin emphasised that in actuality the purpose doesn’t have nice relevance within the case as a result of in accordance with worldwide legislation, immunity throughout transit of the diplomatic official is granted world wide if the host nation – Iran, within the case of Saab – accepts his credentials. , because it really occurred.
So far the prosecuting occasion isn’t presenting the argument of Maduro’s illegitimacy to assist the case they’re making an attempt to current. “All they’ve been doing is trying to buy time,” Rivlin mentioned.
Buy time, Hollander added, to see if he finally ends up cooperating.
Saab has a Miami court docket listening to in February, however the case there is not going to actually start earlier than the appellate court docket case reaches a decision and the trial can be dismissed if that decision is favorable to Saab, the attorneys mentioned.
The United States Attorney’s Office in Miami accuses Saab and Pulido of being on the forefront of a corruption and cash laundering community that allowed them to extract $ 350 million from the Venezuelan State coffers and switch them overseas. If convicted, they may withstand 20 years in jail.
Saab was extradited to the United States from Cape Verde after his legal professionals ran out of authorized choices to keep away from him on the finish of a authorized battle that lasted 16 months. The protection argued from the start that the Colombian businessman was repeatedly tortured to drive him to cooperate with the United States authorities.
Hollander mentioned the protection has been documenting the acts of torture and that this proof can be used within the Miami trial if it finally ends up being carried out.