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Cape Verde obeys ECOWAS court, places Venezuelan envoy under house arrest

Cape Verde obeys ECOWAS court, places Venezuelan envoy under house arrest
January 22
09:12 2021

The government of Cape Verde has complied with a ruling of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court by placing Alex Saab, special Venezuelan envoy, under house arrest.

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Saab has been in prison since June 2020 after his private jet made a stopover in Cape Verde on his way to Iran.

The envoy who is caught up in a feud between Venezuela, his country, and the US, was on a humanitarian mission on behalf of his government in the Asian country.

The US put pressure on Cape Verde to arrest Saab with plans of extraditing him to face corruption charges.

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It was on that basis, Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, was instructed to approach the regional court, especially after Saab’s lawyers failed to stop the extradition proceedings in the country.

Thereafter, the court ordered the immediate release of the envoy from prison and asked that Saab be placed under house arrest for health reasons.

It also ordered that extradition hearing be suspended in Cape Verde, pending the hearing and determination of the suit before it in Abuja, Nigeria.

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Initially, the country rejected the regional court’s ruling, saying it did not have jurisdiction in the matter.

But in a ruling on Thursday, Cape Verde’s court of appeal ordered that Saab be placed under house arrest and granted access to medical treatment.

However, the Barlavento appeal court held that the extradition proceedings must continue.

“You will be provided with health support, when necessary and under supervision we established that is with the authorization of the competent authorities,” the court’s ruling contained in documents seen by TheCable read.

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“This is the measure of the obligation to remain in the dwelling. Thus, the extradited Alex Saab, is obliged to remain in the dwelling, under the established terms and in accordance with article 289 A of the CPP.

“Relief warrants immediately after the presentation of adequate housing endorsed by the criminal authorities, and which will remain pending the ongoing extradition process.”

Falana had written Cape Verde President Jorge Carlos Fonseca to free Saab.

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