The Attorney General of Cape Verde, Luís José Landim has told pressmen that the ongoing case involving Venezuelan businessman Alex Saab may have political consequences, giving indications that there are some political influences in the case.
Mr. Landim, who is to play a major role in the extradition of Alex Saab to the US to fce charges there made the comment earlier this week after a meeting with President Jorge Carlos Fonseca.
“From the beginning, we have always said that we apply the laws of Cape Verde and the Constitution of the Republic, and not laws that one wants to impose from outside. We apply what we understand to be applicable law. Other consequences will be political, perhaps, but it is no longer up to me to answer that question. If there are other consequences, I’m sure the State will know how to react because I believe we are acting well,” Cape Verdean online newspaper, Noticiasdonorte quoted the Attorney General as saying.
Cape Verde’s constitution frowns upon the extradition of any person from the country to another country for political reasons.
Despite the Attorney General’s views, Mr. Alex Saab’s team is still in court trying to appeal a ruling by Cape Verde’s apex court approving Mr. Saab extradition.
Next week will mark exactly a year since Mr. Saab was arrested in Cape Verde while on a stopover en route to Iran on a diplomatic mission for Venezuela.
He is currently under house arrested after spending months in a maximum security prison.
José Manuel Pinto Monteiro, a lead lawyer for Mr. Saab in Cape Verde in reaction to the Attorney General’s recent comment said it is a clear acknowledgment that the extradition process of Alex Saab to the United States is based exclusively on political assumptions.
“The observations of the PGR, today, are clear and unequivocal proof of the political nature of Cape Verde’s intervention in this matter”, so the lawyer reacted when asked to read José Landim’s statements, adding that “the fact is that the Alex Saab’s detention was, from the beginning, a political decision, and it is a political decision that must be taken to free him,” he said.
He added that, “It was the executive [Government] and not the courts that decided to arrest [Alex Saab], it was the executive and not the courts that delayed the release on June 25, 2020, when INTERPOL cancelled the Red Alert for its American friends could issue the extradition request, and it is the executive, as the Supreme Court of Justice itself indicated, that must decide the final fate of Alex Saab.”
He further urged Luís José Landim to take the chance to remedy the situation to protect the image of Cape Verde.