“False,” is how Spanish magistrate Baltasar Garzón described accusations made by sectors of the Venezuelan opposition, according to which the Government of Venezuela had allocated $170 million for the defense of the Colombian-Venezuelan businessman Alex Saab.
“According to the data that this defense has, this is a false statement,” Garzón told the Lusa news agency.
In recent days, due to the successful #FreeAlexSaab campaign launched to win freedom for the Venezuelan diplomat, and due to recent victories within the ECOWAS community, right-wing influencers and the “free press” launched a smear campaign trying to discredit Baltasar Garzón’s credentials—something very difficult to achieve.
Garzón is a prominent human rights defender, who became well known for requesting the extradition of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, to be tried for crimes against humanity. He also fought extermination policies launched during the government of Felipe Gonzalez, the long-standing president of Spain from the PSOE party.
Currently, the Spanish magistrate is part of Saab’s defense team facing US attempts to extradite him for alleged money laundering. Garzón is also an important part of the defense team for the defender of press freedom Julian Assange.
The Venezuelan diplomatic envoy was detained under unlawful circumstances in June last year when the plane in which he was traveling had to make a technical stop on the African island of Cape Verde. At that time it was headed to Iran on a diplomatic mission, sent by the government of President Nicolás Maduro.
At the time of detention there was no Interpol red notice active against Alex Saab, and he was traveling in an official capacity and with diplomatic immunity.
Recently the Supreme Court of Cape Verde gave the green light for his extradition to the United States, but his defense team appealed the decision despite the pressure exercised by Washington to kidnap him.
Featured image: Smear campaign about Baltasar Garzón fees for defending Alex Saab. Photo by Getty Images.
(La IguanaTV) with Orinoco Tribune content.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune