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Alex Saab's 'diplomatic' labyrinth...

As a matter of historical fact, Alex Saab was arrested in Cape Verde on June 12 2020, en route to Iran. His arrest was due to a criminal probe in which he was involved, launched by America's Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI. At the time of arrest, Saab claimed that he was a Venezuelan diplomat. In addition, Saab claimed that he had been appointed "Special Envoy of the Government of Venezuela" on April 9 2018, and that on April 1 2020 he had been entrusted with negotiating with Iran whatever necessary in order to source goods and services from that country. The dates above are crucial, as these were provided by Saab's legal counsel / Venezuela in the context of a lawsuit presented against Cape Verde before the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court.

Saab does have quite the problem: according to ECOWAS Court "The copy of the diplomatic passport attached to the case file shows that it had expired since March 2020 (see Exhibit I)."

ECOWAS Court ruling on Alex Saab 'diplomatic status'.

As seen in filings of criminal court proceedings in Florida (reported above by AP's Joshua Goodman), Saab's 'diplomatic passport' as 'Special Envoy' was issued -for only one year- on March 21 2019. It expired on March 22 2020, as determined in ECOWAS' Court's proceedings.

Therefore, Saab's filing in Florida confirms findings of ECOWAS' Court and puts his defence in the rather awkward position of having to explain / justify the fact that it took Venezuelan authorities almost a year to issue Saab's "Special Envoy of the Government of Venezuela" passport.

As seen in letter produced by Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela's Foreign Minister at the time, Saab's 'Special Envoy' status was announced on April 9 2018.

Saab's 'diplomatic passport' was issued on March 21 2019.

Beyond expired 'diplomatic passport' at time of arrest in Cape Verde, Saab has another inescapable, insurmountable problem: announcement of his 'Special Envoy' status was never published in Venezuela's Official Gazette. Therefore Arreaza's letter has no legal value according to Venezuelan law.


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