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News > Venezuela

Venezuela Calls To Observe Humanitarian Measures on Saab Case

  • ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, 2019.

    ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @EdwinMusoni

Published 21 January 2021

Diplomatic envoy Alex Saab's extradition to the U.S. was approved by a Court in Cape Verde early this month.

Venezuelan's Foreign Ministry (MPPRE) Wednesday called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to enforce a court decision that authorized a humanitarian measure for diplomatic envoy Alex Saab, who has been illegally held in a prison in Cape Verde since June last year.


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MPPRE highlighted that Cape Verde's authorities have refused to grant the house arrest allowed by the ECOWAS Justice Court even though the country is a member of the organization.

Recalling that all the deadlines established by the Cape Verdean justice system on the process have expired, MPPRE condemned the passivity with which the Saab case has been handled while also rejecting the intention to extradite the official to the U.S.

MPPRE pointed out the deterioration of Saab's health on which the change of his penitentiary regime was approved. It also called for attention to his illegal detention since he enjoys inviolability and diplomatic immunity as a special envoy.

"Saab's detention is part of the obsessive campaign orchestrated by the outgoing U.S. government against President Nicolas Maduro's legitimate government with the aim of politically and diplomatically undermining Venezuela," MPPRE press release reads.

On January 4, Cape Verde's Barlovento Court of Appeal ratified Saab's extradition requested by the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump (2017-2020).  

Describing Saab's extradition as a direct challenge to ECOWAS Court's ruling, Saab's defense team announced that it would appeal before Cape Verde's Supreme Court before the main hearing on the case takes place on February 4.

"Barlovento Court of Appeal's decision is not surprising. It continues a deplorable series of decisions in which the Cape Verdean courts have refused to address the arguments presented by Saab's defense," his lawyers said. 

Saab was arrested last June 12, when the plane he was traveling on stopped for refueling at Amilcar Cabral International Airport on the Cape Verdean island of Sal. The arrest was made after a U.S. request issued through International Police (Interpol) for alleged money laundering.


Alex Saab
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