The President of the Republic of Cape Verde, Jorge Carlos Fonseca, answered before a group of journalists; the different questions about the current situation of the Venezuelan ambassador Alex Saab.

In this interview the President made it very clear that it is not his responsibility to comply with the UN order regarding the extradition process of Alex Saab.

He said that there is only one body in Cape Verde capable of enforcing, or not, the order of the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the illegal process that is being carried out by order of the United States.

President of Cape Verde and Alex Saab

Speaking to journalists in the city of Praia, Jorge Carlos Fonseca ruled out any responsibility and legitimacy of the Head of State, the Prime Minister or the Minister of Justice to take such a decision.

The President of the Republic said that, in a system like Cape Verde, the judge is above everything and everyone; since only he has jurisdictional powers for someone to be arrested or released.

He further stated that, having an opinion on this issue, it is worth absolutely nothing before the jurisdiction of the TC.

Following is the conversation of the President of the Republic Jorge Carlos Fonseca, with journalists on the Alex Saab case:

“Mr. President, there is an issue that nobody talks about or that is little talked about at the official level, but that Cape Verdeans want to hear about, which is the issue of the extradition process of Mr. Alex Saab. It all started with a political decision of the Government to accept, bilaterally, a request from the United States for the extradition of this Venezuelan citizen. The matter was handed over to the Public Prosecutor’s Office which, as the holder of the criminal action, took it to the courts, which is the independent valence of our judicial system. In recent days, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has decided, in addition to requesting all specialized medical assistance for Mr. Alex Saab, to recommend to Cape Verde the suspension of the entire process until it is analyzed and there is a decision on the level of that body. Do you think Cape Verde should comply with these recommendations?

What I can say at this moment is this: as President of the Republic, I am following this file. And I follow, I don’t know if I can say it on a daily basis. I do it in the way, by the means and with whom I must accompany. A few days ago, at my request, the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), and I spoke with him about this file. And when I talk to the PGR I try to know the status of the case and I found out that it is in an appeal that is being analyzed and that will be decided by the Constitutional Court (TC). Therefore, the process took some time, it had several procedural incidents, it has already been subject to decisions of the Court of Appeals of Barlovento (TRB), there were appeals before the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ), it returned to the Court of Appeals, there was a new appeal decision, it returned to the Supreme Court and I have the information that there have already been 6 habeas Corpus requests.

Currently, the process is in the TC, which is an autonomous constitutional jurisdiction. Therefore, people have to understand, and I think everyone realizes, that is, that there is no one who is connected with the process who does not know that neither the President of the Republic, nor the Prime Minister nor the Minister of Justice can intervene or suspend anything in a process that is in the courts. I cannot stretch any further. As President of the Republic, let’s suppose that, even if I thought that there are problems of justice, injustice, legality or illegality, I have no way to intervene. I can’t. How do I intervene? Make a presidential decree? There is a principle that we even learned in law schools and that, as a professor, he taught the students, with a very simple formulation: the acts of arrest, detention and release are materially jurisdictional acts. This means, in a system like ours, that only a judge can arrest or release because only he is equipped with the jurisdictional powers to withdraw or return liberty. There may be countries where this is possible. But not in Cape Verde”.

With these statements it is evident, that these actions are executed by orders of the United States government; that with the help of the African government of Cape Verde they can maintain the harassment and persecution of Ambassador Alex Saab, violating all international conventions, such as the Vienna Convention.