Colombian businessman Alex Saab has been detaining since June 12 in Cape Verde. The African nation has already said it will extradite him to the United States, which is requesting him on charges of money laundering.
On Wednesday, the Cape Verde Ambassador to the United Nations, Fernando Wahnon, stated to media assembled in New York, in which he said that Saab extradition to the United States was a done deal. However, experts say there is still a couple of things that his legal team can do.
According to Saab legal team, the process may take between six and nine months, but, according to the African country authorities, only two legal steps needed before the prisoner gets shipped to the US.
You must read The mark of Alex Saab is all over the Vargas state
On June 29, the courts from the Republic of Cape Verde accepted the extradition request of the United States against the Colombian businessman indicated as being the money-launderer of the ruler Nicolas Maduro.
The team defense of Alex Saab, headed by former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon, appealed to Cape Verde’s decision to extradite the Colombian businessman only to hear August 4, it that the Court of Appeals authorized Saab’s extradition by allowing the initial decision.
According to a Europa Press publication on August 4, the team of Alex Saab will appeal that ruling before Cape Verde Supreme Court, as they consider it arbitrary and illegal. They are also considerate that the extradition is for political reasons.
The prosecutor general of the Republic of Cape Verde, Jose Landim, reported the details of the procedure in statements on June 14 to local media. Here we remind you what they are and what steps are missing:
- After his arrest, the Colombian businessman appeared to a judge to validate the arrest by extradition. He was presented to the court in Cape Verde on June 15, according to images broadcast by the media outlet TCV.
- According to the laws of the African country, justice will have to verify the identity, that the act is also a crime in the requested State and that it is not a political or military crime.
- The United States, the country that put out an Interpol arrest warrant on Saab, must then send an extradition request. This procedure was carried out by the North American country as reflected on an article in Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, reporting that a Cape Verde court accepted the extradition request after translating all the documents they received.
- The next procedure is to make formal extradition. The country that requested the extradition has 18 days to do so, although it could be extending to 40 days. From the time Cape Verde accepted the request until this August 4, 36 days have passed.
- Gerson Revanales, an international expert from Venezuela Central University, told El Pitazo that the extradition formalization procedure is still underway until Saab’s lawyers can appeal no further. The delays the process, but Revanales said that legal recourses for Saab case are already running out. “He has about two bullets left,” he said.
- According to the expert, the formalization of extradition is an administrative procedure. Cape Verde judicial decisions got placed to move to the phase between chancelleries.
- Revanales comments to this media that the last procedure for extraditing Saab is a contact between foreign ministries (the US and Cape Verde) to establish dates and conveyance.
- The Republic of Cape Verde does not have a bilateral extradition agreement with the United States but, the prosecutor Landim said in June that his country is a member of the United Nations, and that is why they including the extradition agreement.