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Mass protest rocks Caracas over Venezuelan diplomat detained in Cape Verde

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SOME Venezuelans have taken to the street of the nation’s capital, Caracas, to protest the continued detention of its diplomat, Alex Saab, who is in the custody of the Cape Verdean authority.

The protesters, who gathered in numbers on Sunday, demonstrated their displeasure over Saab’s detention in the African island nation, Cape Verde.

According to pictures and videos seen by The ICIR, the Venezuelan protesters carried placards demanding an unconditional release of the special envoy.

The protest was said to have gathered momentum on the social media following comments by Ulisses Correia, Cape Verdean prime minister, who told the nation’s parliament that Cape Verde “did well” by arresting Alex Saab under a request from the United States during the administration of former President Donald Trump.

The ICIR had reported how Saab, who was alleged by the US government to have been involved in money laundering, was arrested and detained in Cape Verde.

His extradition was requested by the US government over allegations of money laundering, a move the Venezuelan government faulted with claims that the businessman is its special envoy on a ‘humanitarian mission.’

The Venezuelan government claimed that before his arrest, Saab had been on a mission to get food and medical supplies, stopping over in Cape Verde where he was arrested by security operatives.

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There have been several legal battles between Venezuela, Saab’s lawyer and the Cape Verdean government over the detention of the diplomat.

Read Also: Ugandan Election: Opposition leader, Bobi Wine, in court to challenge Museveni’s victory

Saab’s legal team led by Femi Falana approached the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court to stop Saab’s extradition to the US.

The ECOWAS Court of Justice on 2nd December, 2020, gave a ruling that the extradition process be put on hold pending the determination of the case of illegal detainment brought before it.

The African regional court, ECOWAS, also ordered that Saab be placed on house arrest and be allowed to access facilities when needed.

Checks by The ICIR confirmed that the ECOWAS Court of Justice will commence the hearing of the case marked ECW/CCJ/APP/43/20, bordering on violation of human rights, on February 2nd, 2021.

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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