The Colombian businessman Alex Saab, figurehead of the dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, detained in Cape Verde (Africa), He appealed the ruling of a Miami judge calling him a fugitive from United States justice, where he is accused of conspire to launder money.
The defense of Saab requests with the new legal resource “annul the order conferring fugitive status”, According to court documents to which the news agency had access EFE this Wednesday.
Saab has been detained in Cape Verde since June 2020 and his extradition to the United States was approved on March 17. by the Supreme Court of Justice of that West African island country.
The Colombian defense filed the appeal in the United States on April 1 before the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, based in Atlanta (Georgia).
Last March the judge Robert N. Scola, from a Miami court where he faces money laundering conspiracy charges, rejected a request from the Colombian to modify Saab’s status as a fugitive from justice.
Saab’s defense also asked to respond to the accusations of the United States Attorney’s Office without setting foot in the country, which Judge Scola also denied.
“Saab Moran cannot face his fugitive condition and his accusation until he is physically present in this jurisdiction (USA),” the judge said at the time.
Saab, which appealed Scolla’s entire ruling, is accused in the United States of conspiring to launder money and laundering financial instruments, like his right hand, Álvaro Enrique Pulido, also Colombian.
“Saab Moran is a fugitive”, The judge insisted in the ruling of last March.
He explained that a defendant is a fugitive “if you intentionally avoid arrest by fleeing, hiding or remaining absent from the jurisdiction”.
Saab is being held in Cape Verde on the basis of an arrest warrant for extradition requested by the United States.
According to the indictment, Saab and Pulido washed up to $ 350 million that they allegedly defrauded through the exchange control system in Venezuela.
According to the US Department of Justice, between November 2011 and September 2015, Saab and Pulido colluded with other individuals to launder their illicit earnings and transfer them from Venezuela to US bank accounts., which is why Washington says it has jurisdiction in the case.
(With information from EFE)