Cape Verde, on Wednesday, arrested and detained Dr Jose-Manuel Pinto Monteiro, the lead counsel for Ambassador Alex Saab, who has been in detention since June 2020 by the Cape Verdean government.

The legal adviser was arrested and detained for over nine hours by the government security agencies when he visited Saab in detention.

Ambassador Alex Saab

It was gathered that the legal counsel was seeking entry to the house where Ambassador Saab was detained, to conduct his daily meeting with him. 

He protested the roughness of the search that was carried out before he could enter the house. 

Irked by his protest, he was arrested and detained.

Kicking against the arrest of Monteiro, the law office of Monteiro, stated that it condemned “in the strongest possible terms the detention of Dr Pinto Monteiro, who is the Managing Partner of this firm and currently the lead counsel in Cape Verde for Ambassador Alex Saab”.

The law firm, in a statement, accused the Cape Verdean government of interfering with the defence team of Ambassador Saab in its right to exercise its professional duties.

The statement partly reads: “His arrest is unprecedented, and we are compelled to ask what purpose it could possibly serve. 

“Last December, the authorities denied entry of a world-renowned oncologist to visit and examine Ambassador Saab. 

“His wife is still waiting for the authorities to guarantee her safe passage into and out of Cape Verde. And yesterday the authorities detained Ambassador Saab’s lead Cape Verdean counsel. 

“How far Cape Verde’s government is prepared to go in their desire to assist the United States of America?”

SaharaReporters had on Wednesday reported how Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria, had for the third time adjourned the case of Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, who was arrested by Cape Verde.

The adjournment at the hearing of the case on Tuesday made it the third time in three months the ECOWAS court would be adjourning the case.

According to his lead lawyer, Femi Falana (Senior Advocate of Nigeria), Saab, a Special Envoy of the Republic of Venezuela, was arrested while on a special mission to Iran to procure humanitarian assistance when the aeroplane conveying him made a stopover to refuel in Cape Verde on June 12, 2020.

He added that he was arrested in Cape Verde on the basis of an Interpol warrant instigated by the United States of America against Venezuela.

Falana also noted that except in cases where guilt has been established or is evident, no individual with diplomatic immunity has ever been extradited or even arrested.

The legal luminary expressed optimism that despite foreign interference, the ECOWAS court will decide based on the facts and evidence before it as well as the position of the law. 

“These will form the basis of the decision of the court and that is when you can say that justice has been done in a case.

“We are very confident that the ECOWAS court will not disappoint but ensure that justice is served in this case,” he added.

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