The ECOWAS Court again confirms that Alex Saab’s detention is unlawful.
In its judgment delivered on March 15, 2021, the ECOWAS Court of Justice declared the arrest and detention of Venezuelan ambassador Alex Nain Saab Moran illegal, ordered his release, annulled the extradition proceedings against him to the United States, and awarded him reparations of $200,000 for violations of his human rights by Cape Verde.
On April 15, the government of Cape Verde filed two petitions asking the ECOWAS Court to overturn the sentence. Alex Saab’s defense team vigorously opposed both motions and in today’s decision, which followed a hearing on May 31, the ECOWAS Court confirmed:
(i) There was no miscalculation of time zones in considering when the Republic of Cape Verde received the Interpol Red Notice and had no bearing on the illegality of the arrest and subsequent detention, and.
(ii) It is competent in terms of jurisdiction to decide the matter.
The Defense Team notes that today’s decisions represent the end of the ECOWAS Court process, and the Republic of Cape Verde has no further excuse to attempt to justify its non-compliance with the binding decisions of the ECOWAS Court.
Ambassador Saab‘s family wishes to express its gratitude to the Honorable ECOWAS Court for its firm application of the law and requests that the Republic of Cape Verde comply with its international obligations and immediately release Alex Saab and end the vindictive extradition process against him.
Alex Saab’s lead counsel at ECOWAS, Femi Falana SAN, said, “I am glad that in dismissing Cape Verde’s applications, the Honorable Court has emphasized that its decision of March 15 as to the illegality of Ambassador Saab’s detention must be respected by Cape Verde.
The Defense Team now calls on the competent authorities of Cape Verde to comply with the decision of the ECOWAS Court, immediately release Alex Saab and put an end to the extradition on political grounds.”
Dr. José Manuel Pinto Monteiro, lead counsel for Alex Saab in Cape Verde, commented, “Cape Verde is known as a nation that respects its international obligations and the rule of law. I join my colleague Falana in calling on the Cape Verdean authorities to immediately end the illegal detention of Ambassador Saab, release him and allow him to travel freely to Venezuela.”