Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro’s deal maker loses in the extradition battle

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Venezuela update

A Colombian businessman regarded as the chief dealmaker in the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro will almost certainly be extradited to the United States after losing his last lawsuit in Cape Verde on Tuesday.

The Constitutional Court of the Atlantic island nation ruled that there was nothing wrong with the detention of Alex Saab in June last year, who was arrested in Cape Verde at the request of Washington last year. He was prosecuted and sanctioned for money laundering in the United States, and Tuesday’s ruling cleared the way for him to be sent to the United States.

Saab has been at the center of the tug of war between Washington and Caracas since he took office Detained when his private jet stopped to refuel In Cape Verde during his mission for the Maduro government.

Caracas described Saab as a special envoy with diplomatic immunity, saying that he was on a humanitarian mission to ensure the safety of food and medical supplies. Washington said he was flying to Iran, possibly to ensure the supply of gasoline to Venezuela despite US sanctions.

The United States is keen to approach Saab because it considers him the key to Maduro’s regime. U.S. officials claimed that he helped Caracas transport gold from illegally owned mines in Venezuela to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, while transferring its trading proceeds through a network of shell companies in Panama, Hong Kong and elsewhere.

The Venezuelan government is eager to ensure that Saab will not be sent to the United States, where he can provide information about the operation of the Maduro regime. Maduro has also been prosecuted in the United States.

Saab’s defense team, including the famous Spanish judge Baltazar Garzon, Believe that there is a violation The way he was arrested. For example, it stated that the Interpol “red notice” that requested detention was issued several hours after he was detained.

Saab’s connection with Venezuela can be traced back several years. In 2011, he signed a joint venture contract to build prefabricated houses in Venezuela.

The US Department of Justice stated that Saab and its company have never performed the contract. “[They] When Saab was indicted in 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice stated that it transferred approximately $350 million from Venezuela through the United States to overseas accounts owned or controlled by them.

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