US partially rejects money laundering charges against Maduro envoy
The United States has partially dismissed money laundering charges against Alex Saab, an envoy from Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro.
U.S District Judge Robert Scola has dismissed seven of eight charges against Saab for complying with the deal the United States has reached with Cape Verde for Saab’s extradition, Reuters reported.
One count of conspiracy to launder money remains against Saab, with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Saab was extradited from Cape Verde to the United States in October on the condition that he could not face more than 20 years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed in Cape Verde, The Associated Press reported.
Saab originally faced eight counts as the United States accuses Saab to use a social housing project in Venezuela to pocket $ 350 million in a corruption scheme.
Venezuela denounced Saab’s extradition, calling it a kidnapping and said a Saab confession would pose a threat to Venezuela’s national security.
The United States has been going after Saab for years saying Saab knows how Maduro and government officials have used government contracts to get rich.
After Saab’s extradition, Venezuela halted negotiations with the US-backed opposition in Mexico that focused on the socialist regime’s humanitarian crisis.
The country has also jailed six executives from the U.S. oil industry following Saab’s extradition, with the United States previously denouncing the charges against the executives as politically motivated.
Saab’s arraignment date was set for Monday but was pushed back to November 15.