By means of an article, Attorney Geraldo Almeida analyzes Alex Saab’s accusation, entering through the web page of the Department of Justice of the United States of America; this with the intention of demonstrating that no country in the world has the right to ask another country to extradite someone on the basis of such a charge.
I intend to demonstrate that no country in the world has the right to ask another country to extradite someone on such a charge, unless it intends to derail the judicial system of the requested State, said Attorney Geraldo Almeida.
He also said that, if the country requesting the extradition is the United States of America, the situation is even more aggravated. It is indeed the country that liberated humanity from the two great World Wars, and also the country that has been the precursor of democracy and the protection of fundamental freedoms throughout the world.
With fabricated accusations, instead of protecting democracy and fundamental freedoms, they are desecrated, attorney Gerardo Almeida.
INDICTMENT Ariana Fajardo ORSHAN, Robert ZINK, Michael NADLER and Jhon-Alex ROMANO, the prosecutors who signed the indictment, of having manipulated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) to make it applicable to a contract entered into in Venezuela with the government of Venezuela and to be performed in Venezuela I charge them with violating precedent in United States v.Hoskins , 902 F.3d 69, 85 (2d Cir.2018).
ACCUSATION Ariana Fajardo ORSHAN, Robert ZINK, Michael NADLER and Jhon-Alex ROMANO of not even knowing the exact date on which said contract was signed, referring only that it will have been “since November 2011 or around 2015”, which means that they did not even have access to the referred contract, otherwise they would never have doubts about the date of its conclusion.
ACCUSATION Ariana Fajardo ORSHAN, Robert ZINK, Michael NADLER and Jhon-Alex ROMANO of referring to “corrupt payments” made by Alex Saab, without naming a single person to whom those corrupt payments were made! Simply saying that he made “corrupt payments” to Venezuelan government officials “or to” employees of SENIAT, GNB and CADIVI “, institutions of the State of Venezuela, is not a valid accusation anywhere in the world because it refers to all employees, without specifying.
ACCUSATION Ariana Fajardo ORSHAN, Robert ZINK, Michael NADLER and Jhon-Alex ROMANO of referring in the above indictment to “wire transfers to the bank accounts of Co-Conspirator 1 in the Southern District of Florida, distributed proceeds and paid expenses related to the corrupt scheme . ” without even referring to to whom such profits were distributed; when they were distributed; and who those expenses related to corrupt schemes were paid to.
CHARGE Ariana Fajardo ORSHAN, Robert ZINK, Michael NADLER and Jhon-Alex ROMANO with referring to “offenses against a foreign nation, specifically Venezuela, involving a public authority with misappropriation, theft and embezzlement of public funds and participation of public authority, and for personal gain” , thus fulfilling the crime provided for in Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1956 (c) (7) (B) (iv), depriving that foreign State of the right to try its corrupt persons, without that foreign State feeling aggrieved, for which reason the aforementioned indictment constitutes an illegitimate attack against a foreign State.
CHARGE Ariana Fajardo ORSHAN, Robert ZINK, Michael NADLER and Jhon-Alex ROMANO with falsifying a formal accusation against Alex Saab; having manipulated the FCPA to make it applicable to events occurring abroad, under the jurisdiction of foreign law, and having produced a legal piece that shames great American lawyers and shames every serious lawyer, who loves law and justice.
However, because the right to be contradictory is a natural right, STOP… if you can!
Let us now turn to the analysis of the above charge for those who have the patience to read my article.
As noted, this charge is based on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 ( FCPA), which can also be found in the Anti-Kickback and Books and Records Provisions As of July 22, 2004 of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as updated through Pub. L. 105-366 (Nov. 10, 1998) UNITED STATES CODE TITLE 15. TRADE AND COMMERCE CHAPTER 2B – SECURITIES EXCHANGE (justice.gov) . As the indictment itself states, this law was enacted for “the purpose of, among other things, prohibiting corrupt activities by encouraging an offer, promise, authorization, or payment of money or anything of value to a foreign governmental authority for the purpose of assisting in obtaining or retaining business or awarding business to any person”.
The flaws in this indictment begin here: it is a law that seeks to punish Americans or American organizations that deal with foreign countries and corrupt foreign authorities to obtain illicit advantages. Well, the public accusers manage to manipulate the terms of this law, making it applicable to a contract signed in Venezuela, with the Government of Venezuela, to be executed in Venezuela. Well, if the thesis of these public prosecutors prevails, no one is safe anywhere in the world. Any day, some US public accuser may understand that the acts practiced in Cape Verde violate the US FCPA and there we have our “corrupt” to be judged by the US courts.
But, more on the analysis of this alleged indictment.
The referred indictment considers that the Servicio Nacional Integrado de Administración de Aranceles Aduaneros e Impuestos – SENIAT, which according to the terms of the same indictment ” is a tax service of the Government of Venezuela” is the object of the referred indictment ; and, according to the same indictment, it is a “department, agency and instrumentality of the Government of Venezuela”; the Currency Administration Commission – CADIVI, characterized by the aforementioned indictment as “an agency of the Venezuelan government that administered the legal exchange of securities in Venezuela, including the government-controlled exchange rate between Venezuelan bolivars and US dollars”; The Bolivarian National Guard of Venezuela – GNB which, according to the same indictment “was one of the four military components of the Venezuelan National Armed Forces, charged with performing military and civil defense functions for the government of Venezuela”.
By announcing these roles of the different Venezuelan State agencies that the same Prosecutor’s Office will consider to be involved in the money laundering process of which Alex Saab is accused, the same Prosecutor’s Office concludes that all these Venezuelan State services integrate the concept of “department, agency and organism” mentioned in the FCPA.
From the transcription made up to this point, it is clear that the addressees of the referred indictment are services of the Venezuelan State, which, however, do not appear in the same indictment, neither as causers, nor as defendants, nor as accomplices, nor in any other procedural role. Therefore, the main target of the aforementioned accusation is the State of Venezuela itself, since, as will be seen below, these services will allow the entry of funds in favor of Alex Saab and will make possible the alleged money laundering.
In fact, for the same charge “SENIAT, GNB and CADIVI supervise and control the importation of all goods into Venezuela. CADIVI was responsible for paying in U.S. dollars for goods imported by Venezuela. To guarantee the validity of the payment, CADIVI had a tracking system for goods imported by Venezuela. Once the goods arrived in Venezuela, SENIAT and GNB officials were required to verify the import and take photographs of the imported goods with a GPS tag to demonstrate that the goods were properly imported and inspected. CADIVI also verified and inspected the imported goods. After inspection and verification by SENIAT, GNB and CADIVI employees, these photographs,
Then, the cited indictment goes on to show that “from November 2011 or around 2015” Alex Saab entered into a contract for the construction of social housing with the Government of Venezuela and that he fraudulently fulfilled such contract, needing to make “corrupt payments”. “To SENIAT, GNB and CADIVI officials who attest that the merchandise had been imported when, at the end of the day, this certification was only intended to receive illicit amounts.
It is clear from the same accusation that the accusers are not even sure when the same contract was signed. They say it is in November 2011 or around 2015, which immediately completely discredits the same accusation. This means that the accusation that is based on an allegedly corrupt contract did not even have access to the same contract, otherwise it would never have doubts about the date of its conclusion.
Another fact that totally discredits the accusation is the fact that it refers to “corrupt payments to Venezuelan government officials”, without naming a single person. without naming a single person in the Venezuelan government to whom such corrupt payments were made. In fact, it must be admitted that what is in the dock in the end are the SENIAT, GNB and CADIVI services, therefore, the Venezuelan Government itself.
It is also not at all clear from this accusation on what date said “corrupt payments” were made, in what manner said corrupt payments were made, whether from Venezuelan banks, banks of other countries or U.S. banks, or whether it was a cash payment. Therefore, the aforementioned indictment does not have any element to prove that such “corrupt payments” were actually made.
The indictment further states that “as a result of these corrupt payments to Venezuelan government authorities and employees of SENIAT, GNB and CADIVI, CADIVI generated multiple payments of false and fraudulent invoices and documents for goods and construction materials that were never imported.” There is no evidence in this accusation that proves that the aforementioned construction materials have not been imported. In fact, if CADIVI itself generated multiple payments of false and fraudulent invoices and documents, it follows that these services of the State are also sued in the process.
When the aforementioned indictment looks for any territorial connection of the criminal acts practiced by Alex Saab with the United States, the only connection found is an alleged meeting of Alex Saab with a “co-conspirator” that took place in Florida -says the same indictment-. “On or about March 5, 2014, and again on or about March 9, 2014 in Miami – Florida to discuss corrupt payments to Venezuelan government officials.” The date of the meeting is not certain because it is a meeting that took place on March 5 or 9 “or around these dates”; it is not known who the beneficiaries of the “corrupt payments ” are, it is only known that they are “Venezuelan Government authorities”.
According to the same accusation, after the aforementioned meeting, whose exact date is unknown, Alex Saab called a “co-conspirator” and told him “that the Venezuelan government authorities of SENIAT, GNB and CADIVI should receive corrupt payments for having facilitated payments” of false and fictitious documents of goods and construction materials, which had never been imported. Co-Conspirator 1 said that corrupt payments should be made as soon as possible or Venezuelan government authorities would no longer approve false and fraudulent documents”.
One wonders how it is possible to accuse the government authorities of a country, covering everything and everyone, without specifying anyone and without, above all, attributing to these possible persons facts with criminal relevance. In the following excerpt, the above-mentioned indictment already restricts the group of those Venezuelan Government authorities to whom corrupt payments were allegedly made, but in this case the above-mentioned indictment still has a broad scope at the level of SENIA, GNB and CADIVI, but still without specifying anyone.
In another point of the indictment, Alex Saab is accused of making “wire transfers to the bank accounts of Co-Conspirator 1 in the Southern District of Florida, distributing profits and paying expenses related to the corrupt scheme”. The question that also remains here is to know to whom he distributed the proceeds. Who paid the expenses related to corrupt schemes? Why are we dealing with a scheme? Why is this scheme corrupt?
But the embarrassment of this indictment for which Alex Saab’s extradition is being sought does not stop there. Looking at the dates of the alleged wire transfers, the prosecution states that these are “approximate dates”. The question remains: how is it possible in a country like the United States with the most advanced technology in the world not to know the exact date of the same themselves?
Finally, it should be noted that the aforementioned indictment allegedly aims at protecting a foreign state – as this is the meaning of the Foreign Corruption Practice Act – so the same document accuses Alex Saab of having committed “crimes against a foreign nation, specifically Venezuela, involving a public authority with misappropriation, theft and embezzlement of public funds and participation of public authority, and for his own benefit ” , thus fulfilling the crime under Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1956 (c) ( 7) (B) (iv).
No country in the world has the right to ask another country to extradite someone on such a charge, unless it intends to defraud the requested State, disrespect its judicial system and achieve its honor and dignity as a People and as a Nation.
It is thus, more than manifestly, that the accusation just demonstrated clearly fabricated is based on false, fabricated assumptions, with the clear objective of neutralizing Alex Saab and harming the regime of Nicolás Maduro. The amount of information on the U.S. government website https://share.america.gov/ leaves no doubt about the political motivations of this unfortunate accusation.