The lawyer, political scientist and international commentator, David Rivkin, who is also Alex Saab‘s lawyer, assures that the authorities of Cape Verde did not recognize the diplomatic immunity of his client, which he considers a serious fact that the U.S. courts cannot allow.

David Rivkin also qualified as illegal the extradition from Cape Verde of the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, who after this questioned procedure faces a legal process before a court in South Florida, United States.

Extradition of Alex Saab

For his part, Rivkin criticized the extradition procedure of Alex Nain Saab from Cape Verde to the United States; due to the fact that he was transferred to U.S. custody before the final judicial determination of the Cape Verdean courts, which he described as something “very irregular, very improper”.

Also, Saab’s lawyer, who is an expert in constitutional law, has argued that the Cape Verdean Justice did not resolve the diplomatic immunity of his client.

Additionally, he added that this will influence the decision of the U.S. Department of Justice and is something that “violates Cape Verde’s international obligations; which is very regrettable”.


Also, Alex Saab’s lawyer has considered that Alex Saab was extradited illegally. Therefore, Cape Verde violated its obligations both by not recognizing his diplomatic immunity.

“If we live in a world where a country can snatch and criminally prosecute a diplomat of a foreign country, that is going to plunge us into chaos in an international environment that already has many problems” Rivkin considered.

According to the lawyer, after a Florida judge dismissed most of the charges against Saab, the defense is now concentrating on demonstrating his diplomatic immunity, stemming from the fact that he was and continues to be a Venezuelan special envoy to Iran.

Rivkin argues that since he has diplomatic immunity “no charges can be maintained against him”.

Hearing on November 15

For his part, Rivkin downplayed the importance of the matter since it is a matter of the diplomat’s bail and the condition of his detention. He added that it is possible to resolve it; although he acknowledged that it is not the core of the defense.

Despite the refusal of the US Department of Justice, the argument of diplomatic immunity will succeed. Therefore, Washington has every right to recognize or not to recognize the status of an envoy to its country, but it cannot do so in relation to the recognition granted by other States, as in the case of Venezuela and Iran, under US law and the 1961 Vienna Convention.

According to Revkin, under international law and the own jurisprudence of the United States, a country of which he said has “courts that enjoy tremendous independence”, if one looks at this case “from the point of view of the law and only the law”, Saab must be acquitted.