U.S. judge dismisses most money laundering charges against Maduro ally Saab

(Reuters) – A U.S. judge in Florida on Monday dismissed money laundering counts against Alex Saab, an ally of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, but he remains accused of one count of conspiracy to launder money, a court filing showed.

The order was issued by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola. The conspiracy charge that remains carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Saab was extradited last month to the United States from Cape Verde, where he was detained in the summer of 2020 on a U.S. warrant.

In a Monday filing, U.S. prosecutors requested that seven of the initial eight charges contained in a July 2019 indictment be dropped to comply with assurances that officials made to the government of Cape Verde in seeking Saab’s extradition.

Prosecutors said officials promised Cape Verde that Saab would only be charged on a single count to comply with the archipelago nation’s laws regarding the maximum term of imprisonment.

(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer in San Fancisco and Luc Cohen in New York, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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