Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana and Jose Pinto Monteirowho are on the defence team of the detained Venezuelan, Alex Saab have argued that the planned extradition of the detainee to face money laundering charges in America was “politically motivated”.
Saab is currently being detained in Cape Verde after he was arrested at the request of the Donald Trump-led United States government during a stopover on his way to Iran over allegations of money laundering.
His country, Venezuela has since faulted his arrest, arguing that the businessman is its special envoy on a humanitarian mission.
On March, 15, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court ruled his continued detention and push for the extradition by the Cape Verde government was illegal.
The judgement of the ECOWAS court was based on the absence of a Red Notice when Saab was arrested in June last year.
However, Cape Verde authorities have refused to obey the order and a ruling by the Cape Verdean Supreme court on Tuesday, March 16 that Saab is extradited to the United States has strengthened this position.
In early 2018, the Geneva Public Prosecutor began an investigation into alleged money laundering by Alex Saab.
The investigation has now been terminated after three years with the Geneva Public Prosecutor concluding that the charges against Saab lack sufficient evidence to nail him on the count of money laundry “…there is no additional element to continue the investigation on the count of Money Laundering…”. It was submitted that Alex Saab’s legal costs in relation to the investigation be compensated.
Falana and others asserted that the extradition request made by the United States on 29 June 2020 to the Republic of Cape Verde was politically motivated and based on unsubstantiated allegations founded on testimony from discredited informants.
“On the basis of the findings of the Geneva Public Prosecutor and the ECOWAS Court of Justice, two highly reputable independent authorities, the Defence Team calls upon the United States to end its politically motivated judicial persecution Alex Saab and for the Republic of Cape Verde to comply with the binding order and immediately release him, respectively.”
However, checks on the released Order for Discontinuance of case document by the Public Prosecutor of the Republic and Canton of Geneva conceal some information in the document.
The concealed information include the ref, the name of the public prosecutor, the name of the person that certified the termination, the amount of the compensation, among other information.