Against its earlier stance, the Barlavento Court of Appeal has approved an application seeking the removal of Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, from a Cabo Verdean prison.
The court in its earlier judgement reported by PREMIUM TIMES, rejected the appeal to stop diplomat’s extradition requests to the United States despite all arguments, including violation of human rights, put forward by Mr Saab’s defence team.
Both the court and the Attorney General, Luís Landim, had also argued in defiance of ECOWAS ruling, categorically denying ever ratifying the protocol that gave jurisdiction to the international court in matters of human rights.
In a fresh order issued on Thursday evening, the court said the detained diplomat be placed under house arrest and granted access to medical consultations till the country’s Supreme Court gives its final verdict on the case.
“For the practical effect of this article, the extradited person, as already exposed, and once he has financial possibilities and has already requested it, must qualify a residence for the purposes of his stay, which will be approved by the competent authorities, the criminal police, to safety effects and in order to avoid the serious danger of escape,” the document made exclusively available to this newspaper, read in part.
The twist, is coming barely two days after Donald Trump, a strong campaigner against Nicolas Maduro-led government, left the White House.
This development has arguably offered a interlude to the long-haul legal and diplomatic tussle between Venezuela and the U.S. with Cape Verde as the battleground.
As a prerequisite to ensure Mr Saab’s compliance with his house arrest order, the court has seized the diplomat’s passport and other documents which they said ”could fast-track his escape”.
Apart from being placed under security surveillance, the court has also mandated him to present himself daily before the local police authority.
“Thus, considering that the maximum term of pre-trial detention has expired, Mma Judge Judge could subject the extradited to some or some of the legally admissible coercion measures provided for in the code of criminal procedure, so we think that a measure to ban the country from leaving (art. 288 °, CPP), with seizure of passport and other valid documents for the saidà of the country, informing us of SEP, daily periodic presentation before the local police authority, the obligation to remain on the island of Sal (art. 289 °, paragraph 1. point c), of the CPP) and ‘security deposit (art ° 283 °, of the CPP) , appear to us as necessary, and are shown to be appropriate and proportionate to the situation, verifying all the assumptions of application,” the court mandated.
While a date to hear Mr Saab’s before Cape Verde Supreme Court is unknown, PREMIUM TIMES can confirm that the ECOWAS court in Abuja has shifted the hearing on the case to Friday. The case was initially slated for February 5.
Mr Saab’s legal team will be led by Femi Falana.
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