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News > Latin America

Cape Verde Officials Violated Rights of Venezuelan Diplomat

  • Venezuelan Special Envoy Alex Saab, 2020.

    Venezuelan Special Envoy Alex Saab, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @kabuteyBaAlpha

Published 11 August 2021

They are accused of offenses such as cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment, theft of personal property, abuse of power, passive corruption, and kidnapping.

On Wednesday, Alex Saab's lawyers filed complaints against Cape Verdean Attorney General Jose Landim, Regional Attorney Natalino Correia, and Judicial Police inspectors Domingos de Pino and Mauricio Monteiro, who intervened in the arrest of the Venezuelan diplomat.


US Extradition Request against Saab to Be Resolved Next Week

They are accused of crimes such as offenses to physical integrity, degrading or inhuman treatment, theft of personal property, abuse of power, attack against foreign authorities, passive corruption, and kidnapping.

On June 12, 2020, Saab was arrested by Cape Verdean authorities, who followed improper legal process to satisfy a U.S. extradition request. His lawyers demand a detailed investigation of these irregular events and assure that they will present "applications for civil compensation" against the officials involved.

Although the complaint would not directly influence the process of Saab's extradition, the action of his lawyers could lead to a criminal investigation against the actors who intervened in the diplomat's arrest.

This complaint was filed in a key week for the development of his case. Until Aug. 13, the Constitutional Court of Cape Verde will have to rule on two requests presented by Saab's lawyers: a constitutionality inspection and an appeal for protection. The diplomat has also requested that the judges hear him in person.

Saab was detained when his plane stopped at Amilcar Cabral Airport on the island of Sal. At the time of his arrest, however, INTERPOL had not issued a red alert. Previously, the United States had accused Saab of allegedly being a front man for Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.  As some international institutions have already highlighted, his arrest was carried out under the improper assumption that Saab was not a Venezuelan special envoy.

“The U.S. State Department does not serve as a global registry for all the world's diplomats. In fact, there is no process by which a special envoy or an ambassador... should apply for any type of registration or anointing with the U.S. State Department," Saab's lawyers recalled.


Alex Saab
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