Renowned human rights lawyer John Philpot, has joined in warning that the United States government’s determination to extradite Venezuelan Diplomat, Alex Saab, and prosecute him on criminal charges, will set dangerous precents in terms of extraterritorial judicial abuse.
He fears that it will lead to future violations of people’s diplomatic status and human rights.
The Montreal-based lawyer was speaking at a webinar organized by the Alliance for Global Justice with support from several other groups.
The situation is said to be even more problematic as this is not the first instance of the US establishing extraterritorial powers.
This year alone, the US has, at least, requested the extradition of two persons for prosecution.
These include Huawei Technologies executive, Meng Wanzhou, and North Korean businessman, Mun Chol Myong.
The US has been successful in extraditing Mun Chol Myong from Malaysia and is prosecuting him on criminal charges.
There are records of the US imposing sanctions on countries that do not readily collaborate in extraditing other nationals.
These situations have already been condemned by the United Nations, describing them as “unilateral coercive measures”
Also speaking at the Webinar, Stansfield Smith of the Chicago ALBA Solidarity, expressed worry that the US, through its domination of the international financial system, was extending its imperial reach.
He explained that the US government could insist on foreign banks to accept their restriction or risk facing sanctions themselves because of their influence in the international financial system.
Lawyer for Alex Saab at the ECOWAS court, Femi Falana, also spoke at the webinar.
The former President of the West African Bar Association called on US President, Joe Biden, to have respect the rule of law and withdraw from pressuring the Cape Verde government to ignore the ruling of the ECOWAS court that Alex Saab should be released and extradition processes cancelled.
Geraldo da Cruz Almeida, who is Alex Saab’s attorney in Cape Verde, stressed that Alex Saab is not guilty of the allegations of fraud and corruption being leveled against him.
He described the legal case against Alex Saab as absurd and one that it politically motivated.
He insists that Alex Saab’s diplomatic status guarantees him immunity from arrest.
Alex Saab’s arrest
Alex Saab was arrested last year by Cape Verdean authorities following a request from the US government.
The US has accused the Businessman of gaining over $100million dollars from corrupt activities undertaken by the government, led by Nicholas Maduro.
An investigation carried out by Swiss investigators says that there is not enough evidence to back these allegations.