Alex Saab’s arrest: Lawyer wants ECOWAS to sanction Cape Verde for disobeying ruling

Alex Saab

Lawyer for Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, at the ECOWAS court, Femi Falala, wants Cape Verde to be slapped with sanctions for refusing to obey a March 15 ruling by the court.

The ECOWAS court has ruled that Alex Saab should be immediately released from detention as Cape Verde did not have an Interpol Red Notice prior to his arrest.

The Court also ordered Cape Verde to terminate the extradition process which the special envoy has been undergoing at the request of the United States government, while an amount of $200,000 should be paid to the business man as compensation.

Cape Verdean authorities are yet to act in obeisance to the judgement.

In view of that, Femi Falana has called on ECOWAS leaders to place a travel ban against top Cape Verde government officials, including their family members.

According his request, the ban must affect government officials such as Cape Verde president, Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, and the country’s Prime Minister, José Ulisses de Pina Correia e Silva.

The lawyer has also requested the ECOWAS Authority of Head of States to suspend its support to Cape Verde which were through loans and disbursement of projects.

He has also requested that Cape Verde is excluded from presenting candidates for statutory and professional posts of the respondent in ECOWAS, suspension of voting rights in ECOWAS and participation in the activities of ECOWAS.

Lawyer Femi Falala is questioning Cape Verde’s unwillingness to comply with the judgement of the ECOWAS court even after it has already set precedent by regarding the court when it ordered that Alex Saab should be under house arrest.

“It should be noted that Cabo Verde despite previous posturing had eventually complied with the Court’s earlier decision of  December 2, 2020 which ordered Cabo Verde to transfer Mr. Saab under house arrest,” he said.

The lawyer says that “Cabo Verde’s behavior is unacceptable and flies in the face of its international obligations as well as centuries-old international law governing the movement of diplomats and political agents.”

His fear is that “if Cape Verde is allowed to continue down the path which it is currently travelling the consequences for the conduct of global diplomacy will be catastrophic”

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