Momento de la captura de Alex Saab en junio de 2020 en Cabo Verde.

US asks to investigate media that published image of Saab in audience

The Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan who is handling the case of Alex Saab, alleged front man for Nicolás Maduro, requested that more than 35 media outlets that published images and videos of the accused be investigated for alleged “intentional violations” inside a federal court during his first hearing of presentation before the American justice.

The picture of Alex Saab in chains, in an orange prison suit and long hair during his first appearance in Miami via Zoom, circulated widely on social networks on behalf of various media that were part of the more than 300 attendees in the videoconference.

“The Court refers the persons identified in Exhibit A to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida for an investigation into their alleged willful violations of Judge O’Sullivan’s order prohibiting photographing and broadcasting at the arraignment initial Saab Moran “reads the motion of the Southern District Court of Florida.

The The Colombian businessman’s lawyers had asked the judge to investigate those media and the journalists who publicized the audience, presenting an extensive list with proper names and links to the reports. Likewise, it had requested that access to media be limited to future Saab audiences.

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Although the judge did authorize the request for investigation to the media that would have breached Rule 53, it must allow the taking of photographs in the courtroom during the court proceedings or the transmission of the court proceedings from the courtroom “; denied the request for media access restriction.

The judge considered that due to the “vital public interest in open judicial proceedings, the Government has a general and primary affirmative duty to oppose their closure,” it says in another memorandum.

Given this, Alex Saab declined to appear either in person or via Zoom at future hearings. This next November 15 will be the second hearing of the Colombian businessmen, and it was known on behalf of the lawyer, Henry Bell, that Saab will plead not guilty to the charges against him.

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