Venezuela businessman and diplomat, Alex Saab, is unsure of his fate if the US government is successful with attempts to extradite him and prosecute him on criminal charges.
He fears that he would face harsher conditions in the hands of US authorities.
According to Alex Saab who has been in detention in Cape Verde since June 2020, the US will subject him to poor treatment, torture and unfair trial in order to get some responses from him.
“If I’m extradited to the United States, every independent expert is categoric: I will be exposed to forced interrogation techniques, to torture, poor treatment, an unfair trial, inhuman detention conditions, and cruel punishments,” he said in an interview with the CNN.
Despite these fears, the businessman, who described his detention in Cape Verde as an abduction, said he is hopeful of positive outcomes of the various legal litigations to challenge the extradition request.
Alex Saab expressed his determination to challenge the request indicating that it was politically motivated.
“The fact that they opted to sanction me confirms that they are telling the world they don’t have any proof to support any accusation…It’s why they can’t label me as a criminal, but still seek to destroy my reputation,” he stated in the interview.
The United States is alleging that Alex Saab, a close ally to Nicholas Maduro, the President of Venezuela, has benefited from corruption schemes in that country.
The US says that Alex Saab has gained over $ 100 million from money laundering, fraud, and corruption hence their pursuit to prosecute him.
But responding to the specific claims, Alex Saab, described the charges as unfounded.
“They [the charges] are unfounded, purely political and artificially built…to serve political purposes. They are based on testimony provided by discredited witnesses who have been rewarded with US citizenships for their cooperation”
The ECOWAS court in March 2021 ruled that Cape Verde release the Mr. Saab and end processes that would get Alex Saab extradited to US, however the Supreme Court of Cape Verde in a counter-ruling days after gave the green light for Alex Saab’s extradition. The court’s point was that Cape Verde was not a signatory to the Protocol of 2005 establishing the regional court, adding that ECOWAS itself is not “a supranational organisation”.
While Mr. Saab remains in detention, the UN Human Rights Commission after receiving a submission from him on the ongoing issue directed Cape Verde on June 8, 2021 to stop any process to extradite him to the US.
“The State party has been requested to refrain from extraditing Mr. Alex Nain Saab Moran to the United States of America while his case is under consideration by the Committee or until further notice,” excerpts of the letter detailing the directives read.
The Commission has since given Cape Verde up to February 2022 to give its response.