Álex Saab has been detained in Cape Verde since June 12
The Supreme Court of Cape Verde rejected on Tuesday a maneuver by the Colombian businessman Álex Saab, the alleged figurehead of the Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, to prevent his extradition to the United States.
Specific, dismissed a « habeas corpus » lawsuit filed by Saab’s defense, which alleged “illegal imprisonment” in the context of his arrest on June 12.
Saab is accused of money laundering and drug trafficking, among other crimes, committed in the United States, according to information published by the Cape Verdean agency Inforpress. He had long been wanted by Interpol.
The Colombian businessman, also accused of being figurehead of the dictator Nicolás Maduro, had filed on June 18 a demand for « habeas corpus » to achieve freedom before the Cape Verde Justice, his lawyer informed the . agency on Tuesday, José Manuel Pinto Monteiro.
According to the lawyer, « The detainee was covered by immunity from criminal jurisdiction and had the right to personal inviolability as a special envoy from Venezuela in transit through Cape Verde. »
After Saab’s arrest, the Chavista regime reacted, noting that Saab is a Venezuelan citizen and a « agent » of the Government, who was « in transit » to return to the country.
The first images of Álex Saab detained in Cape Verde (Infobae)
Venezuela, Pinto recalled, « never eliminated the status of special envoy to Mr. Saab, so when he made a stopover on the island of Sal, that condition was valid and he had diplomatic immunity and could not be detained under those conditions. »
The « habeas corpus » is also supported in the « fraudulent use of a red alert by Interpol », stressed Pinto, who appeared this Monday before the STJ in Praia on behalf of his client, detained on the northern island of San Vicente, where he was transferred from Sal to testify before an appeal court.
The Colombian businessman’s defense insisted on pointing out the alleged discrepancy between the date of Álex Saab’s arrest and the issuance of the Interpol red alert, alleging that the arrest occurred on June 12 and the red alert was issued the following day.
The same arguments support, according to the lawyer, the appeal presented before the Court of Appeal in San Vicente against the preventive detention ordered by a court of Sal for Saab.
The Court of Appeals last week validated the businessman’s preventive detention, thus paving the way for his possible extradition at the request of the United States, but the defense filed an appeal pending response.
Extreme concern in the Maduro regime over the possible extradition of Álex Saab to the US (. / Miguel Gutiérrez)
Under Cape Verde law, the United States has 18 days (as of June 14, when pretrial detention was ordered) to file an extradition request., as detailed by the Attorney General of the Republic, José Landim.
« Cape Verde, » added Landim, « does not have a bilateral extradition agreement with the United States, but it is linked to United Nations conventions that oblige it to comply with the request, if it is made. »
Despite maintaining a low profile in Colombia, Saab’s name appeared in the media when former Venezuelan prosecutor Luisa Ortega accused him in 2017 of being one of Maduro’s figureheads.
Saab, 48, of Lebanese origin and born in the Colombian city of Barranquilla, is related to several companies, including Group Grand Limited (GGL), accused of supplying surcharges to the Maduro regime with food and supplies for the government’s Local Committees of Supply and Production (CLAP).
A US government official indicated in July 2019 that with CLAPs, which are delivered to the poorest, The Colombian businessman and three stepsons from Maduro profited, apparently, with « hundreds of millions of dollars. »
The Chavista regime assures that Saab is « agent » of the Maduro government
Washington also filed charges last July against Saab and his right hand, Álvaro Enrique Pulido, whom he accuses of laundering up to 350 million dollars allegedly defrauded through the exchange control system in Venezuela.
According to the US, between November 2011 and September 2015, Saab and Pulido conspired with others to launder their illicit profits and transfer them from Venezuela to US bank accounts, which is why Washington has jurisdiction in the case.
For that reason, Saab and Pulido have an open case for conspiracy to launder money since 2019 in the federal courts of the southern district of Florida, and the judge Robert N. Scola Jr. declared them fugitives from Justice on August 26 of last year.
His arrest occurred after the Colombian Public Prosecutor’s Office imposed precautionary measures on the 9th of June for the expropriation of eight properties that « would become part of Saab’s illicit heritage ».
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, these assets have a value of 35,000 million pesos (about 9.7 million dollars) and are in Barranquilla.
With information from .
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