Diplomat and businessman Alex Saab appeared before a federal court in Miami in person, dressed in beige. His new lawyer, Neil Schuster, said that his client pleaded not guilty to the charge of money laundering conspiracy.

The hearing lasted only a few minutes. If found guilty Saab could receive a maximum sentence of up to 20 years.

Seven other charges were dismissed two weeks ago by the U.S. courts.

Also, Neil Schuster officially indicated that he will represent Saab; and in a very brief statement he indicated that he was representing his client, “a diplomat of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”.

The United States alleges that Saab, whom the Department of Justice indicated would be involved in an alleged money laundering crime, established in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; related to a housing program in low-income sectors, a contract he obtained in November 2011.

On different occasions, Ambassador Alex Saab has declared that he has not committed any crime in any country and that he is a political persecuted of the U.S. The governments of Cuba and Russia have supported this thesis.