The defence staff of Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, has received a big procedural victory within the Court of Appeals for the eleventh Circuit.
Saab was arrested on June 12, 2020, after his personal jet made a visit Cape Verde on his strategy to Iran for a humanitarian mission on behalf of the Venezuelan authorities.
The businessman is caught up in a feud between Venezuela, his nation, and the US.
The US put strain on Cape Verde to arrest Saab with plans of extraditing him to face corruption costs.
But Venezuela President, Nicolas Maduro, who not too long ago appointed Saab as ambassador to the African Union (AU) kicked towards the transfer.
Dr Jose Manuel Pinto Monteiro, Lead Cape Verde counsel for Saab stated the staff was hopeful that the August 6 judgement may result in the popularity of his diplomatic immunity by the court docket.
Monteiro stated “In effect, the Honourable Court has issued an order, indicating that the appeal will proceed to the merits stage, and has ordered that the Department of Justice file its response within 30 days.
“My US colleagues have assured me that this preliminary ruling removes a major procedural hurdle and also indicates the 11th Circuit’s strong interest in the fundamental issue of Mr Saab’s diplomatic immunity.
“The Defense Team wishes to clarify a specific point regarding the process underway with the 11th District Court of Appeal. The Department of Justice has been arguing that Mr Saab’s diplomatic status has not been registered/accepted by the US Department of State.
“The Defense Team respectfully points out that the State Department of the United States does not serve as a global register of all diplomats in the world. Indeed, there is no process by which a Special Envoy or a resident ambassador from one foreign country to another (and where the United States is neither the sending country nor the receiving country) is required to seek any kind of registration or “anointment”, because the DOJ would have the Court consider, with the US Department of State.”
Also talking, Femi Falana, Lead ECOWAS counsel for Alex Saab stated, “With the development in the 11th Circuit, the situation can be summed up in the following way. If the Honourable Court decides that Alex Saab is Venezuela’s Special Envoy and therefore entitled to immunity, the US indictment would be quashed, and the United States would be forced to withdraw its extradition request and Mr Saab would be immediately released.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the eleventh Circuit (which ranks in seniority to the Supreme Court of Justice in Cabo Verde) is without doubt one of the 13 intermediate courts of appeals inside the U.S. federal judicial system.
Federal courts within the United States are divided by geography into 89 districts inside the 50 states and Washington, DC.
After the eleventh Circuit points a definitive ruling in Saab’s case, it’s topic to the certiorari overview by the Supreme Court that’s the highest judicial establishment within the United States.