International

Judge sets arraignment date for Venezuelan envoy after extradition to US

A United States magistrate set an arraignment date on Monday for Alex Saab, an envoy for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, after he was extradited to America. 

The arraignment date was set for Nov. 1 after Saab made a video appearance in the Monday hearing, Reuters reported

Saab was charged with money laundering and is accused of taking part in a bribery scheme that allegedly allowed him to make $350 million off a low-income housing project in Venezuela. 

Saab was extradited from Cape Verde, where he was arrested in 2020 and had been fighting in the court system for more than a year. 

The extradition and charges have been condemned by Venezuelan officials, with Maduro saying he was "outraged."

"The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela repudiates this grave violation of human rights against a Venezuelan citizen, invested as a diplomat and representative of our country before the world," the Venezuelan government said in a statement after the extradition, calling it "kidnapping."

Following the extradition, Venezuela halted its talks with U.S.-backed opposition in Mexico and revoked the house arrest of six American oil executives from Citigo.

Two sources told Reuters the Americans were taken to the headquarters of the country's intelligence police.

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