For Alex Saab, the Colombian businessman accused of being a pioneer in the Venezuelan dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro, the new year will open with the beginning of the stage of his trial. On November 17, the United States Southern District Court stated that The first hearing in this phase of the process will be next Monday, January 3rd.
US Attorney’s Office Saab is accused of a crime: conspiracy to launder money. This is considering that there will be evidence that he will be liable to pay bribes to divert up to $350 million in state contracts aimed at building low-priced housing for the Venezuelan government.
to mention it Initially, the Attorney General of the United States indicted him on eight counts different related to money laundering. Later, in the Miami (Florida) court, seven of them were withdrawn. This action was carried out by North American Attorney General Kurt Lunkenheimer, who only asked to leave the money-laundering conspiracy charge in order to Saab was prevented from being sentenced to more than 20 years in prison.
Thus, if found guilty, Saab will face a sentence of approximately 20 years. This sentence can be reduced if the accused reaches an agreement with the prosecutor’s office and pleads guilty, but this apparently will not happen. On November 15, the businessman attended a hearing to read out the charges cited in the Miami (Florida) federal court and there, while wearing a beige suit and an ankle-cuffed He pleaded not guilty.
In light of this, it should be noted that the Chaveza regime alleges that Saab was one of its diplomats on a humanitarian mission on his way to Iran when his plane was stopped in Cape Verde, where he was due to refuel. “He was persecuted, kidnapped and tortured for helping Venezuela,” Maduro announced during this month’s book fair in Caracas.
While the Maduro regime defends it, it is also There are rumors that Saab betrayed the dictatorship for several years. There is talk that the businessman met with US officials before he was charged in July 2019 by the Department of Justice. But the defense of the Barranquilla businessman asserted that this link was “false”.
The truth is that as the process progresses, The 49-year-old businessman must remain in prison, as he will not have the benefit of bail due to the risk of his escape. However, Saab requested that his case be treated semi-privately and that access to the video be restricted to press hearings.
In a 12-page proposal, a difficult defense asserted that the Colombian businessman “It is not seeking to abolish public access, which is a constitutional right, but rather is asking the court to play the role of gatekeeper to prevent further violations of the regulations.” that prohibit photos or videos in court hearings.
What he seeks is that only a few accredited journalists have access to sessions broadcast by Zoom, along with lawyers, family members, and the rest of the public and media do so over the phone.
This was discussed after Saab held its first Zoom hearing in late October before Judge John O’Sullivan, who notified it that she faces eight counts of conspiracy to money laundering and money laundering. More than 300 people participated in the hearing, including lawyers, judges, prosecutors, journalists, activists and opponents of the Venezuelan government.
At the hearing, the judge reminded the participants that, according to the law, it is strictly forbidden to record, take pictures or video clips of parts or all of the hearings. However, a difficult defense claimed, “Dozens of media professionals and others ignored the court’s instructions and took pictures and videos of Mr. Saab’s first appearance.” before the courts.
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