Warner entitled to fair extradition process says Attorney General
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Attorney General Garvin Nicholas yesterday said embattled former FIFA vice-president Austin Jack Warner is entitled to a "fair extradition process" after he confirmed that the United States had submitted an extradition request for his arrest.
Nicholas said that the request was made pursuant to the extradition treaty between the two countries and that the "Provisional Arrest Warrant was issued and is now in the hands of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service for execution.
"Mr Warner is entitled to a fair extradition process and both the requesting and requested states intend to abide by the provisions of the treaty to ensure that Mr Warner's rights are respected," Nicholas said.
multitude of victims
United States and Swiss law-enforcement officials early yesterday arrested several FIFA officials on a number of charges and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the corruption by FIFA officials was "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States".
"It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.
"And it has profoundly harmed a multitude of victims, from the youth leagues and developing countries that should benefit from the revenue generated by the commercial rights these organisations hold, to the fans at home and throughout the world whose support for the game makes those rights valuable."
In addition to the US investigations, international media reports indicate that the Swiss prosecutors have launched a criminal case into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, to be held in Russia and Qatar, respectively.
Warner, who resigned from FIFA in 2011 over a bribery scandal involving Caribbean football executives, has maintained his innocence, saying he had quit FIFA more than four years ago.
"The people of Trinidad and Tobago will know that I quit FIFA and international football more than four years ago, and that over the past several years, I have recommitted my life to the work of improving the lot of every citizen of every creed and race in this nation. This is where I have let my bucket down," he added.
But in a statement, Nicholas said the Central Authority Unit of the Ministry of the Attorney General has been working in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice for approximately one year regarding the investigation of transnational offences involving Warner.
"Today, the United States of America formally requested the assistance of the Central Authority for the issuing of a Provisional Arrest Warrant for Mr Warner, pending the commencement of extradition proceedings."
Earlier, Warner, speaking on a television programme here, said he was unaware of the situation unfolding in the United States and Switzerland regarding FIFA officials, adding "I hear just what you have heard and I am saying to you, I am sleeping soundly still.
Warner said he last visited the United States a year ago, dismissing suggestions that he had not travelled to North America for many years, in light of the US probe.