Friday, March 31, 2023
Thursday, March 30, 2023
We noted a lengthy article yesterday extolling the virtues of certain unnamed European compliance officers for duty in the Middle East, and we wondered aloud just how many of those esteemed candidates actually read and speak Arabic as that is the principal of the region. The use of generic compliance officers, not coming from the region in which they are seconded, while perhaps appearing appropriate, often results in ineffective individuals whose cultural illiteracy in the region causes them to fail at their jobs.
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
ACCUSED COLOMBIAN MONEY LAUNDERER ALEX SAAB MORAN FILES HIS 288-PAGE BRIEF TO THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ON DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY APPEAL
ALEX NAIN SAAB MORAN, alleged to be the primary money launderer to the Venezuelan criminal elite, including President Nicolas Maduro, has filed a massive initial brief, through counsel of record, in his appeal of the District Court's adverse decision regarding whether he posses diplomatic immunity as an absolute bar to prosecution.
We have previously covered the grounds for the Court's decision on this blog, which was based upon the facts and the law, including (A) He was NOT traveling on a diplomatic passport, and did not notify Cape Verde authorities of any transient privileged diplomatic travel prior to arrival (B) He initially did NOT claim diplomatic immunity when detained, (C) His diplomatic appointment in Venezuela was illegally backdated through alteration of government records, and (D) Even if he was a Special Envoy, such states does not confer diplomatic immunity. The District Court's decision should not be overturned. The appeal is, in my humble opinion, without merit, and filed to avoid the legal consequences of Saab's extensive money laundering career.
The issues stated in the brief are:
1. Whether the District Court clearly erred in disregarding uncontroverted documents establishing Mr. Saab's diplomatic status in favor of a conspiracy theory with no evidentiary support.
2.Whether a a Special Envoy of Venezuela, traveling on a diplomatic mission to Iran enjoys diplomatic immunity from arrest, detention, and prosecution.
These are the points the brief makes:
A. The District Court clearly erred in concluding that Mr. Saab did not travel as a diplomat. B. Documents related to Mr. Saab's Spring 2020 missions are sufficient to establish diplomatic status. C. Additional uncontradicted documents confirm M.r Saab's diplomatic status. D. The District Court clearly erred in construing the record. E. The District Court erred in accepting an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory over probative evidence. F. The District Court erred in construing the remainder of the record. G. Mr. Saab is immune under the Vienna Convention and the DRA. H. Mr. Saab is immune under the Vienna Convention. I. The District Court's bases for rejecting immunity under the Convention lacks merit. J. This Court's precedent rejects the District Court's theory. K. This Court's precedent correctly reads the Convention. L. Mr. Saab is entitled to immunity under customary international law. M. The President's Constitutional Powers do not enable the Government to violate international obligations imposed by Congress. N. The relevant recognition under the law is that of Sending and Receiving States. O. The Constitution does not authorize the Government to violate the law.
Saab's attorneys, which prominently included a university professor among them on the cover of the brief, have requested Oral Argument. All the relevant diplomatic conventions are attached to the brief, including two which appear only in draft form. We await the Government's response; stay tuned.
Monday, March 27, 2023
Friday, March 24, 2023
STATE DEPARTMENT EMAIL PRODUCED IN ALEX SAAB MORAN CASE CITES THIS FINANCIAL CRIME BLOG AS SOURCE OF INFORMATION
Exhibit from US vs. Alex Saab Moran (SDFL).
To: Swartz, Bruce (CRM)
From: Abrams, Elliot
Sent: Sun 6/14/2020 9:00:35 PM (UTC)
Tidbits about Saab below: he seems to have Antiguan and Dominican passports, perhaps dip passports, as well as Colombian and Venezuelan Sec Pompeo wonders if we can argue that his Venezuelan dip passport is illicit because awarded by criminals not President Guaido, but if it had been issued before January 2019 we too recognized Maduro ( and anyway CV probably follows the UN in recognizing Maduro). Pompeo also noted that in any event he was not accredited to CV nor was he in a diplomatic mission: he was involved arguably in a mission designed to violate UN sanctions on Iran.