|It's Getting Tighter by COSIMO|
The Constitutional Court of Cape Verde has entered a ruling clearing the extradition of accused Colombian money launderer ALEX NAIN SAAB MORAN to the United States, where he faces Federal charges that could send him to prison for the rest of his life. Saab, a close associate of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, stands accused of money laundering on a global scale. His case us pending in SDFL, US District Court in Miami.
Saab had previously lost his appeal of the extradition order to the Cape Verde Supreme Court back in March, and the Constitutional Court was his court of last resort. Reports from Cape Verde indicate that his efforts to seek relief were dismissed, in a 200-page opinion. There appears to be no other legal avenue available to him in the Cape Verde court system, though some sort of dilatory action is expected from his defence counsel.
The Defendant's attorneys brought a separate action in the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice, but Cape Verde courts held that the ECOWAS Court had no jurisdiction over them. Following the West African court action, information leaked out that Saab's supporters had created a bogus public appeal for his release in Nigeria. They have run an extensive propaganda and public relations campaign online, seeking to characterize him as an innocent man facing purely political charges in the US. He is actually a career criminal dedicated to moving money for the Maduro regime and its most senior officials, and an intermediary with Iran, dealing with sanctions evasion for both Venezuela and Iran.
When taken into custody, Saab claimed diplomatic immunity through Venezuela, although he is a Colombian national wanted in his own country for financial crimes. He did not have a diplomatic passport when detained, and there are serious issues concerning whether he actually is a valid diplomat under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, given his diplomatic passport from Antigua & Barbuda, and his lack of qualifications for, and confirmation of, diplomatic status. He has never been accredited to any specific jurisdiction as a diplomat assigned to a defined mission. The diplomatic passport allows him to evade customs and immigration whilst laundering the proceeds of crime.
Saab's Miami attorneys, who unsuccessfully sought to have his fugitive status removed in his Miami case, notwithstanding that he he has not appeared before a US court, have appealed the District Court ruling to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine, which prohibits absent defendants from seeking any relief in US courts, appears to govern his circumstances.
Maltese readers of this blog will recall that he is accused of employing a Maltese corporation to evade sanctions, and to launder the proceeds of crime. He allegedly moved millions of dollars through Maltese banks and employed financial and corporate service providers there, whilst transferring money from illegal government contracts and conducting illegal oil sales. Since he will most likely take his case to trial, the names and details of his Malta operations, including the names of his facilitators, will become public knowledge in open court.
It has been estimated by legal observers that he will be transported to the United States shortly, as there are no more legal impediments to the Supreme Court's order of extradition.