Judge Scola grants in part request for documents on Alex Saab's diplomatic status

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Sep 15, 2022

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Judge Robert Scola granted to the case of Ambassador Alex Saab, part of the requests of the motion introduced by the defense regarding the presentation by the prosecution of classified and unclassified documents certifying that the United States knew about the diplomatic status of the Venezuelan Special Envoy.

After considering the parties' oral arguments, written submissions and the record, Judge Scola ordered to immediately produce to the Venezuelan diplomat all material related to the summary of the information in the August 15, 2022 letter provided to counsel.

This court action does not address material in the possession, custody or exclusive control of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The court also authorized the search and production by October 18, 2022 of all responsive unclassified material in the possession, custody or control of the "prosecution team" (DEA, FBI, HSI and ICE), including emails, texts, memos, electronic communications and accounts.

The judge's order also states that the Government must disclose to the defendant, by the same date, the amount of classified material it has been obligated to turn over.

This decision of the Miami-based court comes after the presentation of arguments by the U.S. Department of Justice, where they recognized that at the time of Alex Saab's illegal detention in Cape Verde he was on a mission as a Venezuelan diplomat.

The judge points out that "the Court is not convinced that the prosecutors in this case had any authority over these entities", in reference to the Departments of State, Defense and Treasury, where there are documents where Alex Saab is recognized as an acting Venezuelan diplomat.

In this regard, the Southern District Court of Florida denied Saab's defense requests with respect to the Departments of Defense, State, Treasury, the OIA, the NSD.

The case of the Venezuelan Special Envoy is marked by major irregularities due to the lack of evidence to support the case against him. A sample of the anomalies is evidenced by the decision of Judge Scola himself to postpone until December the hearing on the status of the Venezuelan diplomat.

 

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