According to Alex Saab lawyers team, the United States did not provide a valid arrest warrant neither to Interpol nor to Cape Verde.
The team of lawyers of the Venezuelan ambassador Alex Saab issued a statement in which they expressed the irregularities committed by the Attorney General of Cape Verde; José Landim to facilitate the extradition of the Venezuelan to the United States.
Alex Saab lawyers presented two pieces of evidence that resulted in the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) to declare that the detention and arrest of Alex Saab was illegal, thus requesting the Prosecutor Jose Landim to grant him immediate release and to terminate the extradition process.
Evidence presented by Alex Saab lawyers
The first piece of evidence is a copy of the alleged Interpol notification that Natalino Correia claims to have shown from his cell phone to Alex Saab. The image shows that no arrest warrant was received against the ambassador.
The second document is the extradition warrant sent by the United States on June 29, 2020. Contrary to José Landim’s statement; it is shown that the warrant is not in the name of Alex Saab.
For the lawyers, the only document that the prosecutor Lamdin had is the original order provided and it is clear that it is not in the name of Alex Saab.
Since the beginning of the process against the ambassador, the defense has emphasized that the arrest warrant is not in the name of Alex Saab. This is not a “trivial error” and alone should have secured Alex Saab release.
Regarding the Interpol red alert the Attorney General of Cape Verde has highlighted that this was the main basis for arresting Alex Saab.
Defense of the ambassador
According to the Venezuelan ambassador defense team; the United States did not provide a valid arrest warrant to either Interpol or Cape Verde.” More importantly, there was no arrest warrant authorized by any Cape Verde court to support the arrest of Alex Saab on June 12, 2020.”
For Dr. Pinto Monteiro “All of these issues and others have been highlighted by the defense for over a year and; to his eternal shame, the Attorney General has consistently dismissed the procedural errors as “trivial” and has repeatedly assured the courts that he is “satisfied with the assurances he has been given by the United States”.
Responding to comments by Jose Landim, Alex Saab lead counsel at Ecowas, human rights lawyer Femi Falana commented that Cape Verde’s attorney general cannot evade the fact that the numerous irregularities surrounding Alex Saab’s detention and arrest were brought before the Ecowas Court of Justice in September 2020.
Femi Falana recalled that on March 15, 2021; the agency’s Court of Justice issued a judgment declaring that the detention and arrest of Alex Nain Saab were illegal and that he should therefore be released immediately, and the extradition process should be terminated.
The human rights defender affirmed that the attorney general of Cape Verde is aware that the March 15 ruling was issued by Judge Januária Tavares Silva Moreira Costa; a renowned magistrate of Cedeao, but one of Cape Verde’s most respected jurists and former minister of justice of that country.
Prosecutor José Landim denied the binding nature of the Ecowas ruling, but in his pleadings before the Constitutional Court on June 22 he implores her to wait for the decision to be made on June 24 by the ECOWAS Court, the same court whose authority he denies.
Lawyers Pinto Monteiro and Femi Falana also point out that it is now known that José Landim was able to correct the mistake against the Venezuelan ambassador; when the Venezuelan Government officially communicated to Cape Verde that Alex Saab was its Special Envoy and formally invoked his immunity.
Alex Saab’s team of lawyers pointed out that in the face of the evidence presented by Venezuela, Attorney General Jose Lamdin kept an unprecedented and disrespectful silence that can only be explained by political expediency and not by the attempts of Attorney General Landim to divert the decision making to the Cape Verde an courts.