Tuesday, March 28, 2023


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.





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