A propos of news yesterday from Cape Verde regarding extradition of Alex Saab, recall Baker & Hostetler idiotic claims about Alex Saab's 'diplomatic immunity', and how such immunity exonerates him not only from jurisdiction of U.S. courts but from criminal prosecution altogether? Well, the U.S. Department of Justice's (DoJ) response to it (see pdf below) is akin to a bitch-slap. Not only to Saab, but crucially to Baker & Hostetler. DoJ has basically challenged Baker & Hostetler to prove it is acting for Saab, and not for the Maduro regime instead:
"The United States’ interest in ensuring it is dealing with proper counsel representing the interests of SAAB MORAN and not those of a third party, such as representatives of the Maduro regime in Venezuela, is further heightened by the fact that a letter to SAAB MORAN from Jorge Arreaza, Minister, The Ministry of People’s Power of External Relations, was attached to the Motion, stating “We therefore ask that you take all necessary legal precautions to avoid extradition.”" [bold added]
Baker & Hostetler has refused to provide evidence to DoJ of having been retained by Saab on client - attorney privilege basis. DoJ, however, has done a phenomenal job of annihilating Baker & Hostetler preposterous arguments. Every single claim put forth by Maduro / Saab's lawyers has been comprehensively deconstructed, and / or dismissed, as immaterial. DoJ's refusal to accept Baker & Hostetler's specially retarded claim -that diplomatic immunity under Vienna Conventions can be applied retroactively to thugs like Saab- is particularly refreshing, as it echoes what this site has written on the subject.
Chavismo isn't fooling anybody with that crap about Saab being a Venezuelan diplomat. In fact, we learned from DoJ that, when he was arrested in Cape Verde in June 2020, Saab wasn't even carrying his diplomatic passport! This site has known about Saab's profligacy for a while, but that he is allegedly a diplomat became public only after his arrest.
We think DoJ should go further and request Baker & Hostetler to produce evidence of payments from Saab, in order to determine whether such engagement complies with existing AML regulations and relevant U.S. laws. That would, most certainly, open a pandora box.
Another extradition ruling (against Saab) was announced by Cape Verde authorities yesterday. His defence is studying next moves and it will appeal the decision. The question is: how many times can such decisions be appealed?
This site is quoted by DoJ in the motion (p. 3), for which we are grateful. It gives a tangible reason to continue with our anti corruption work. Let us recall that Saab was indicted and charged by DoJ for his Fondo Global de Construcción scam, revealed here in October 2013. See motion in full here.