Pinto Monteiro, the lawyer of Alex Saab, the Colombian businessman linked to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro who is wanted by U.S. authorities on charges of money laundering, has said he has been denied entry into the house of his client barely two days after his client was put under house arrest.
Monteiro, based in Cape Verde, in an interview he granted the press said, “I went to visit Mr. Saab, a policeman wanted to search me. He ordered me to put my hands on the wall. And he wanted to see my lawyer papers about the case. I refused. I refused to allow him to search my papers and they won’t allow me to visit him.”
According to Monteiro, the narrative was not the same during Mr. Saab’s days in prison which dates back to June 2020 when he was arrested. He stressed not a single day was he subjected to this treatment when Saab was in prison. At the time, he recalled, “They only ask me for my cell phone. I leave the cell phone at the entrance. They never searched me. The law also prohibits the manual search.”
Monteiro argued that the development is contrary to Cape Verde and ECOWAS laws.
Mr. Saab was arrested by police in Cape Verde in June last year on his way to Iran aboard a private jet. According to Times Union, U.S. officials believe Saab holds many secrets about how Maduro, his family, and top aides allegedly siphoned off millions of dollars in government contracts amid widespread hunger in the oil-rich nation.
He had been in prison until Monday, 25 January 2021 when he was put under house arrest after his application was approved.
Mr. Saab, according to Notícias do Norte, “will be staying in a residence that was already being prepared for this purpose. Security will be maintained by elements of the PNs Intervention Corps and also by elements of private security.”
His lawyer, Monteiro, has attested that the apartment is very conducive but stressed it was unlawful for him to be denied access to his client.