Alex Saab case: ECOWAS court reorders Cape Verde to stop extradition processes


Two applications, filed by the Cape Verdean government at the ECOWAS Court, for a review of a March 15 ruling have been dismissed.

The ECOWAS Court, on March 15, ordered Cape Verde to release Mr. Alex Saab, who was facing possible extradition to the United States of America to be tried on criminal charges.

Cape Verdean authorities disagreed with the decision.

They contended that the Court was mistaken in the calculation of time zones regarding the time an Interpol Red Notice was received by the government for the arrest of the Venezuelan Diplomat.

But the court, in dismissing the applications from the government, said that there was no miscalculation of time zones.

The court also affirmed that it was competent to make a ruling on the matter.

Speaking after the decision, Defense Lawyers for Mr. Saab at the ECOWAS court called on the Cape Verdean authorities to comply with the ruling.

“I am delighted that in dismissing Cape Verde’s application, the Honorable court has underlined that its decision of 15th March in terms of the illegality of Ambassador Saab’s detention must be respected by Cape Verde. The Defence team now calls upon the competent authorities for Cape Verde to comply with the ECOWAS Court’s decision, immediately release Alex Saab and end the politically motivated extradition,” Femi Falana SAN, lead Lawyer for Mr. Saab said

Lead Counsel for Mr. Alex Saab in Cape Verde, Dr Jose Manuel Pinto Monteiro, has also spoken after ECOWAS Court’s ruling.

He is hopeful that the Cape Verde government will comply with the court’s decision free Mr. Saab.

“Cape Verde is known as a nation which respects its international obligations and the rule of law. I join my colleague Mr. Falana in calling upon the Cape Verde authorities to bring an immediate end to the illegal detention of Ambassador Saab, release him and permit him to travel freely to Venezuela,” he commented.

Aside from releasing Mr. Saab, the Court has awarded a $200,000 fine against Cape Verde.

The money is to be paid as compensation to Alex Saab for the wrongful arrest and detention since June 2020.

Meanwhile, Mr. Saab’s Defence team in Cape Verde has lodged fresh complaints against the country’s police force.

These complaints, filed on June 21 2021.

They are accusing the Police of committing perjury, torture, and concealing evidence that proves that Mr. Saab was on a diplomatic mission at the time of his arrest in Cape Verde.

They have also lashed out at Cape Verdean authorities for not launching investigations into the complaints it had made since June 2020 even though evidence they provided evidence to back their claims.

“We respectfully request, once again, that the criminal complaint be accepted and that those responsible be prosecuted in accordance with the laws of Cape Verde,” Dr. Jose Pinto wrote in the complaint

Leave a Reply