Dealmaker for Venezuela’s Maduro Can Be Extradited to U.S., Court Rules

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Dealmaker for Venezuela’s Maduro Can Be Extradited to U.S., Court Rules

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro spoke at a news conference last month.

Photo: manaure quintero/Reuters

A court in the African country of Cape Verde has ruled that Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and dealmaker for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, can be extradited to the U.S., where he faces charges of laundering money for the authoritarian regime.

An appeals court issued the decision on Monday after ignoring the Venezuelan government’s efforts to shield Mr. Saab via diplomatic immunity by naming him on Christmas Eve as a special representative to the African Union, Mr. Saab’s lawyers said. Mr. Saab, who was born in Colombia but granted Venezuelan citizenship by Mr. Maduro’s government, was arrested in June when his private jet stopped in Cape Verde on a refueling stop.

Officials in Cape Verde acted on an Interpol notice that had been issued for Mr. Saab following his indictment in the U.S. for money-laundering offenses last year, a U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman has said.

Mr. Saab’s legal team said that it would appeal to Cape Verde’s Supreme Court.

Write to Juan Forero at Juan.Forero@wsj.com

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