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News > Venezuela

Cape Verde Prosecutor Acknowledges Error in Saab Arrest Warrant

  • The graffiti reads,

    The graffiti reads, "Freedom for diplomat Alex Saab kidnapped by the Cape Verde government." | Photo: Twitter/ @DLasAmericas

Published 22 July 2021

Since June 2020, Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab has been detained in violation of his diplomatic immunity and without respect for basic legal procedures.

After one year of perpetuating legal errors, the Attorney General's Office (PGR) of Cape Verde acknowledged that the warrant issued for the arrest of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab corresponded to another person.


UN Committee Rules on Detention of Venezuelan Diplomat Saab

On different occasions, Saab's lawyers pointed out that the local authorities have allowed erroneous procedures before and after the arrest of this diplomat.

At the time of presenting counter-arguments before the Constitutional Court of Cape Verde on June 28, 2021, the PGR acknowledged the existence of an error given that the United States had sent an extradition order in which an arrest warrant for Alvaro Enrique Pulido Vargas appeared.

The PGR explained that "by mistake, in the extradition request sent to Cape Verde, the requesting State attached the first page of the original warrant in the name of Alvaro Enrique Pulido Vargas... but the name of Alex Saab appears in the following pages of the warrant and in the translations into Portuguese and Spanish," outlet Noticias do Norte reported.

On July 12, 2020, after returning from a diplomatic mission to Iran, Venezuela's Special Envoy Alex Saab was arrested when his plane was refueling on the Sal island. At the time of his arrest, INTERPOL had not issued a Red Alert.

A few hours later, however, when this Red Alert was actually issued, there was no warrant for the arrest of Ambassador Saab.

When Venezuela knew about what happened, its Foreign Affairs Ministry immediately informed INTERPOL of a Red Alert erroneously issued against a diplomat who had immunity and inviolability of rights.

Since the INTERPOL Red Alert was issued in violation of this institution’s own rules, it was cancelled on June 25, 2020.  Nevertheless, Saab remained in prison without any legal basis until June 29.

On that day, an extradition request issued by the Donald Trump administration reached the Cape Verdean authorities. On this occasion, the procedural “errors” also continued. The U.S. request did not contain an arrest warrant against Saab but an arrest warrant against Alvaro Pulido.


Alex Saab
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