Top Chicago lawyer, Gal Pissetzky, who has been engaged by Hushpuppi as his defence counsel has submitted that American authorities kidnapped his client.
Reporta earlier have it that the alleged fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas a.k.a Hushpuppi was arrested by Police Authorities in Dubai and was later extradited to the United States of America for trials.
He was arrested along with a known associate, Olalekan Jacob Ponle (aka Mr Woodberry) in June 2020.
The two men appeared in a United States court on July 3.
However, Hushpuppi’s lawyer, Pissetzky told BBC that the American authourities have no power to bring his client to the United States following his expulsion from Dubai.
A spokesman for the US Department of Justice quoted by the BBC also said Hushpuppi was expelled from Dubai and was not extradited. He, however, did not answer how he ended up in US custody as the United Arab Emirates has no extradition treaty with the United States and he is not a US citizen.
Hushpuppi’s lawyer, Gal Pissetzky argued that his client was not a criminal and had made his money legitimately by getting money from various brands in exchange for giving them publicity and presence on social media.
“He is a social media influencer with millions of followers, with millions of people that respect and loved him, and he loved them, and that’s what he did. In today’s society, that’s a business,” Pissetzky said.
He then added that “In my opinion, the FBI and the government here acted illegally when they kidnapped him from Dubai without any legal process to do so.”
“There was no extradition, there were no legal steps taken, there were no court documents filed, it was simply a call to the FBI. He is not a citizen of the United States, the US had absolutely no authority to take him,”
The lawyer who vowed to prove his client’s innocence added that “If Dubai wanted to expel him, they should have expelled him back to Nigeria. I’ve never heard of anything like that. That is the real story here.”
It will be recalled that Hushpuppi is standing trial for allegedly conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from frauds known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and other scams.