Lawyer Pinto Monterio, the counsel for the Columbian businessman, Alex Saab who is wanted by the U.S authorities on charges for money laundering has disclosed that he has been denied access to his client.
Alex Saab, who is said to have links with Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, is under house arrest in Cape Verde where his lawyer has been prevented from reaching him.
Mr. Monterio explained that upon reaching the house where his client was, security officials stationed at the place insisted on checking all his documents which he refused.
“I went to visit Mr. Saab, a policeman wanted to search me. He ordered me to put my hands on the wall. And he wanted to see my lawyer papers about the case. I refused. I refused to allow him to search my papers and they won’t allow me to visit him,” he said to journalists.
Expressing surprise at the turn of events, Mr. Monteiro described the situation as unfortunate since he had always had access to his client even when Alex Saab was in prison since June 2020 when he was arrested.
He stated that until the incident happened, he had always had access to his client.
“They only ask me for my cell phone. I leave the cell phone at the entrance. They never searched me. The law also prohibits the manual search.”
Mr. Monteiro stated that the action is breach of the rights of Alex Saab and averse to the laws of Verde and ECOWAS laws.
Mr. Saab was arrested by police in Cape Verde in June last year on his way to Iran aboard a private jet. According to Times Union, U.S. officials believe Saab holds many secrets about how Maduro, his family, and top aides allegedly siphoned off millions of dollars in government contracts amid widespread hunger in the oil-rich nation.
He had been in prison until Monday, 25 January 2021 when he was put under house arrest after his application was approved.
Mr. Saab, according to Notícias do Norte, “will be staying in a residence that was already being prepared for this purpose. Security will be maintained by elements of the PNs Intervention Corps and also by elements of private security.”
His lawyer, Monteiro, has attested that the apartment is very conducive but stressed it was unlawful for him to be denied access to his client.