The defence team of Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab has described the recent claims by the Cape Verde President, Jorge Carlos Fonseca as inaccurate.
Fonseca had on March 26, described allegations that the Executive arm of the Cape Verde government is behind the detention and push for extradition of the embattled diplomat as absurd.
While noting that the arrest and release of individuals is a task of the judges, the president maintained that in terms of the functioning of a democratic rule of law, the government is perfectly at ease from the point of view of compliance with these rules.
But in a statement on Saturday, Saab’s team at the ECOWAS Court led by Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) explained that after Saab was arrested in June last year, the Venezuelan authorities contacted Cape Verde government to invoke his immunity as a Special Envoy engaged on a humanitarian special mission.
However, the Executive led by Fonseca chose to ignore its diplomatic obligations and pushed the matter into the courts.
In a similar pattern, the Executive has repeatedly ignored evidence presented to it as well as the binding decisions of the ECOWAS Court of Justice on March 15, which ordered Saab’s release and declared the detention and extradition proceedings as illegal and arbitrary.
Perhaps to confirm that the continued detention of Saab is at the pleasure of Cape Verde’s Executive led by Fonseca, on March 16, the country’s Supreme Court said that it was left for the executive to take a decision on the special envoy status and appointment of Saab as an ambassador to the African Union.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had court ruled that the continued detention and push for the extradition of Alex Saab by the Cape Verde Government was illegal but the country has refused to obey the court.