Alex Saab speaks from Cape Verde: denounces conspiracy, kidnapping and torture. He referred to Maduro and Abelardo de la Espriella.
Since last March 17, almost 10 months after his arrest, the Supreme Court of Cape Verde, Africa, authorized the extradition of the Colombian businessman Alex Saab, who is requested by the United States justice, accused of being a front man on behalf of Nicolás Maduro and of money laundering for the Venezuelan government.
The businessman, from his place of detention, answered a questionnaire to the newspaper El Espectador in which he assured that it was a kidnapping because he did not have the procedural guarantees for his defense, alleged torture and referred to his relationship with the lawyer Abelardo de the Espriella.
“First, let’s get one thing clear. I am not detained, I have been kidnapped since June 12, 2020.” The Barranquilla businessman assured the Colombian newspaper, because although the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) concluded that his capture was illegal, the Cape Verdean justice authorized his extradition.
On June 12, 2020, Alex Saab was on his way in a private plane to Iran. The aircraft had taken off in Russia and arrived in the African country to refuel; At that time, the Cape Verdean authorities approached the businessman and detained him. According to him, he was pushed without shoes and the pilot was forced to leave the island.
The arrest was based on the fact that Saab Morán had been included in the Clinton List, from the United States, for an alleged front man and money laundering of corruption in Venezuela.
However, he told El Espectador that at the time of his capture he was not shown an arrest warrant or a red Interpol circular, which was presented the next day.
Saab accused the agent in charge of his arrest, Natalio Correira, of acting without the consent of Cape Verde’s attorney general José Landim, and of lying about his international application.
Likewise, he assured that the Minister of the Interior and the Head of National Security, Carlos Resis, lied following “direct instructions from the Department of Justice.”
He also assured that Prime Minister Ulisses Correira participated in his alleged kidnapping, because according to the Colombian businessman, he should have been released the next day when the Venezuelan government invoked his diplomatic immunity upon being appointed as ‘Special Envoy’ and plenipotentiary ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic by Nicolás Maduro.
The businessman from Barranquilla affirmed that he has been a victim of torture since his arrest. “I was kidnapped by Cape Verde in collusion with the US and for seven months they kept me in conditions that the US State Department itself has described as dangerous to life.”
“From the first day of my abduction, they tortured me and pressured me to sign voluntary extradition statements and give false testimony against my government,” he told El Espectador.
It involves physical torture on three occasions and psychological abuse. He alleges that although his defense has requested it, he has not received authorization to be consulted by an oncologist, because he is a “cancer survivor”.
He said that in jail he was left in the dark in the cell lying on the ground, so his vision deteriorated and he must wear glasses, he was also forbidden to speak with people in the prison and he has lost 25 kilos in weight.
According to him, he is in a house like a prison with strong police custody and drones that follow him when he goes to open spaces. His family has not been able to visit him and the first call was made up to five months after his deprivation of liberty.
The newspaper asked him the reason for his diplomatic appointment by the Venezuelan government, which occurred after his arrest.
Alex Saab denied that it was in response to the capture, but has worked with that regime since 2011 together with Hugo Chávez and continued that work together with Maduro, who, he said, appointed him a special envoy in 2018.
In addition, already detained, he affirmed that the Bolivarian president appointed him as Alternate Permanent Representative to the African Union, on December 24.
In the questionnaire, Saab also noted that Abelardo de la Esperilla, who was his lawyer, is still his friend.
“Abelardo de la Espriella is a great lawyer and friend. His professional credentials are well known to all. He just practiced as my attorney for a few years and stopped being my attorney a couple of years ago. He is still my friend and the political differences have nothing to do with the exercise of his profession“, he wrote.
The Barranquillero fears reaching a prison in the United States, due to the Covid-19 outbreaks in those places, which would be a “death sentence” for him due to his health condition. Likewise, he assures that he could be tortured, because he refuses to provide confidential information about the Venezuelan government.
“President Maduro is a person of integrity who is only interested in the welfare of the people of Venezuela. President Maduro has shown incredible leadership in the face of unprecedented sanctions and dirty political tricks from the US. I am honored to be able to assist President Maduro in any way I can as he seeks to ensure the well-being of the people of Venezuela.” He claimed.
Saab hopes that Cape Verde will accept the ECOWAS decision, which it claims is binding on the island, calling for his release due to irregularities in capture and detention. He denies being a front man for Nicolás Maduro because the leader of the Venezuelan regime “does not need” such owners.
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