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Monday, December 6, 2021

USA. Alex Saab is to stand trial in an American court

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Colombian businessman and ally of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is due to appear on Monday in a federal court in Florida, the US Ministry of Justice announced on Sunday. Alex Saab, Maduro’s alleged financier, was handed over from Cape Verde to the United States on Saturday.

“Colombian businessman Alex Saab is expected to appear at 1pm local time before Judge John J. O’Sullivan of the Florida Circuit Court,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman said on CNN.

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Americans accuse Saab of involvement in corruption involving the so-called CLAP. “Instead of ensuring that vulnerable populations get the food they desperately need, the regime is using the CLAP program as a political tool to reward support and punish political criticism,” the US Treasury Department assessed in 2019.

Venezuela is in crisisShutterstock

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According to the Americans, CLAP made it possible for Maduro and his allies to steal hundreds of millions of dollars and at the same time was a form of social control.

Colombian extradited to the US

Previously US sanctioned Saab was blamed for profiting from overestimated contracts. He was also wanted in the South District of Florida on money laundering allegations. In June 2020, Saab was detained in Cape Verde while traveling from Venezuela to Iran. As a result of a legal battle, the financier was handed over to the US on Saturday.

Colombian Alex Saab, Maduro’s alleged financier, was extradited to the US on SaturdayPAP / EPA / MIGUEL GUTIERREZ

Defenders of Saab, including the authorities in Caracas, and their allies Russia and Cuba, consider the arrest to be illegal. They maintain that, as a diplomatic envoy from the Venezuelan government to Iran, Saab enjoys immunity from prosecution in the performance of official tasks.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / MIGUEL GUTIERREZ



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