A Special Envoy to the Government of Venezuela, Alex Nain Saab Morán, through his lawyer Femi Falana, SAN, urged the West African regional court, the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja to stop the plan to extradite him from Cape Verde to the United States. States of America.
Morán, of dual Colombian and Venezuelan nationality, who has been detained since his arrest by Cape Verdean authorities four months ago, urged the court to suspend the extradition process as a precautionary measure pending the court’s decision on the merits.
According to the Morán legal team headed by Mr. Femi Falana, Nigerian Senior Lawyer, Morán, who is a Special Envoy of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is being “arbitrarily detained” by Cape Verde pending his extradition to the United States.
Falana in the request submitted on behalf of his client on September 30, 2020, said that the extradition request initiated by the US authorities was a consequence of the “political conflict between the United States of America and Venezuela.”
Cape Verde is the only defendant in the lawsuit.
He argued that at the time of his client’s arrest on June 12, 2020, “the complainant was carrying out a special mission on behalf of Venezuela and was not subject to an arrest warrant or even a red alert in Cape Verde.”
Falana, who alleged that the detention of his client in Cape Verde was illegal and arbitrary, argued that Morán “enjoys immunity and inviolability in his capacity and condition as Special Envoy of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”
He added: “Until now, Cape Verde’s executive and judicial authorities have ignored the Complainant’s claim that he cannot be subjected to extradition proceedings in Cape Verde and that, therefore, his protective custody for extradition purposes violates his fundamental right to freedom.
“In this sense, Article 22 (1) of the Constitution of Cape Verde establishes that every person has the right to request the Constitutional Court, through an amparo appeal or a writ of amparo, through habeas corpus, the protection of their fundamental rights constitutionally recognized, freedoms and guarantees “.
He also maintained that the “Red Alert issued by INTERPOL against the complainant is illegal since it was issued after his arrest and violates international law and consequently INTERPOL rules.”
It further argued that if the author is extradited to the United States, “he will be subjected to torture because of his political position and the sensitive information he possesses, which would also constitute a violation of Article 5 of the African Charter.”
The lawyer urged the court to stop the extradition of the complainant, as requested by the United States from Cape Verde, “and release him under the supervision and responsibility of the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, accredited to the Republic of Cape Verde.”
Falana also wants the court to order Cape Verde to ensure that the author is treated as a special envoy in transit, in particular by guaranteeing his inviolability, freedom of communication and security.
It also wants the court to order Cape Verde to refrain from taking any other measure “that may harm the rights claimed by the complainant and / or aggravate or expand the controversy submitted to the Court, or compromise the implementation of any decision that the Court can take. do”.
According to Falana, the ECOWAS Court of Justice has prima facie jurisdiction to hear the case, since the defendant (Cape Verde) is a party to the ECOWAS Protocol on the Court of Justice, and the object of the claim refers to the alleged violation of your rights. they are within the jurisdiction of the court to protect.
He also noted that Cape Verde is a party to the Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States established by the ECOWAS Court of Justice under Article 15 (1) of the treaty.