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Sunday, 11 April, 2021

Alex Saab’s extradition to the United States could take up to 30 days

Cape Verde does not have an extradition agreement with the United States. However, the nation has already said it will honor the US request to extradite Alex Saab, the financier accused of being the chief money launderer for the Nicolas Maduro regime.

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The extradition of Alex Saab, the Colombian businessman the Maduro regime has publicly identified as its agent, to the United States, could take up to 30 days. Saab is facing charges of money laundering that could put him away for 20 years.

Saab and his companies had interests in everything from construction to the distribution of the polemical CLAP subsidized foodstuffs in Venezuela.

Saab was arrested by Cape Verde authorities, following two US-issued Interpol notices; his extradition request was received and promptly, and a habeas corpus requested by Saab’s lawyers quickly denied.

You must read Five keys to understanding the capture of Alex Saab, the alleged financier of Nicolás Maduro

Colombian newspaper El Tiempo indicated that the extradition “could be resolved in the next few days.”

According to the United Nations Manual on Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition, “is the formal process by which one jurisdiction asks another for the forced return of a person who is in the requested jurisdiction, and who is accused of or has been convicted of one, or more criminal offenses, under the legislation of the requesting jurisdiction.”

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The process, according to the UN statute, is subject to the conditions of the domestic law of each State. If that parameter holds, Saab could be on a US-bound flight any minute now.

When an extradition request process initiated, as established by the UN, the procedure is “subject to strict time limits for the submission of documents, the filing of appeals, the appearance of the suspect in court and the surrender of the suspect, if ordered.”

The Republic of Cape Verde does not have a bilateral extradition agreement with the United States. However, this does not impede the execution of Saab’s extradition request to that country, as reported by the African attorney general, who emphasized that his nation is bound to UN conventions on international cooperation, and is obliged to comply if the request made.

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Following Article 22 of the American Convention on Extradition of the Organization of American States, to which the United States is a signatory, stated: “the requesting state shall take charge of the person claimed within thirty days of the date, on which it was placing at its disposal.”

Under the mentioned article, “if it does not do so within that period, the requested person shall be released, and he may not be subject to further extradition proceedings for the same offense or offenses. However, that period may be extended by thirty days if the requesting State is unable, through no fault of its own, to take charge of the person sought and to bring him or her out of the territory of the requested State.”

Similarly, in the Convention on Extradition between the Republic of Cape Verde and Spain, for example, which has been in force since August 2008, the time limit set out in article 12, on the surrender of the person once extradition has granted, is also 30 days. But that limit is tops if it does not set a minimum. And Saab has already been almost three weeks in Cape Verde custody.”

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