Caracas, December 24, 2022 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Florida judge Robert Scola has rejected a motion to dismiss criminal charges against Venezuelan government envoy Alex Saab by ruling against claims to diplomatic immunity.
The federal magistrate argued that the United States' non-recognition of the Maduro government should disqualify Caracas' appointees' diplomatic status. Scola also sided with federal prosecutors who cast doubt on the legitimacy of documents submitted by Saab's lawyers to back up his position as a special envoy.
The defense vowed to appeal the ruling before the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which already heard arguments on the matter in April.
"We are confident that Mr. Saab's diplomatic immunity will be recognized and vindicated," lead attorney David Rivkin said in a statement.
The Maduro government envoy was arrested during a stopover in Cape Verde in mid-2020 on his way to Iran to negotiate food and fuel import deals. In October 2021, he was forcefully flown to Florida to face a conspiracy to commit money laundering charge.
Story in development.
Venezuelanalysis.com | source: venezuelanalysis