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Venezuelan envoy asks ECOWAS court to stop US from extraditing him

Venezuelan envoy asks ECOWAS court to stop US from extraditing him
October 18
19:26 2020

Alex Saab, special envoy to the Venezuelan government, has asked the ECOWAS court of justice, to halt the plan to extradite him from Cape Verde to the United States.

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Saab, who was accused by the US government of money laundering and corruption, was arrested in Cape Verde on June 12.

He was reportedly detained by interpol when the plane he was traveling on to Iran stopped in Cape Verde to refuel.

Saab through his legal team headed by Femi Falana, asked the court to halt his extradition process as a precautionary measure pending the court’s decision on the merits.

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In the application filed in September, Falana said the the extradition request by the US is as a result of “the political conflict between the United States of America and Venezuela”.

According to the suit, “the complainant was carrying out a special mission on behalf of Venezuela and was not the subject of an arrest warrant or even a red alert in Cape Verde”.

Falana, who described Saab’s detention, as illegal said his client “enjoys immunity and inviolability in his capacity and status as Special Envoy to the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”.

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“So far, Cape Verde’s executive and judicial authorities have ignored the Complainant’s claim that he cannot be subjected to extradition proceedings in Cape Verde and that, therefore, his protective custody for the purpose of extradition violates his fundamental right of freedom,” he said.

“In this sense, Article 22 (1) of the Constitution of Cape Verde provides that everyone has the right to request the Constitutional Court, through a writ of amparo or protection appeal, through a habeas corpus, to protect their constitutionally recognised fundamental rights, freedoms and guarantees.

“Red Alert issued by INTERPOL against the complainant is illegal since it was issued after his arrest and violates international law and consequently the rules of INTERPOL.

“He (Saab) will be subject to torture due to his political position and the sensitive information he has, which would also constitute a violation of Article 5 of the African Charter.”

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Falana urged the court to suspend the extradition of his client, as requested by the US, “and release him under the supervision and responsibility of the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, accredited to the Republic of Cape Verde”.

He also asked the court to order Cape Verde to desist from taking any action “that may harm the rights claimed by the complainant and / or aggravate or extend the dispute submitted to the Court, or compromise the implementation of any decision that the Court may render”.

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