Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Ruling in extradition case involving former FIFA vice-president adjourned to September

Published:Wednesday | August 2, 2017 | 12:00 AM

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC):

A High Court judge will deliver his ruling in September in a case in which former international football executive Jack Warner is challenging his extradition to the United States on corruption allegations.

Justice James Aboud was originally scheduled to have delivered his verdict on Monday, but lawyers for all parties told reporters that the judge had adjourned the matter to a date to be set in September following the opening of the new law term.

Warner, 72, was released on TT$2.5 million (one TT dollar =US$0.16) bail when he made his first court appearance on May 27 2015.

He is charged with 12 offences related to racketeering, corruption and money laundering allegedly committed in the jurisdiction of the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, dating as far back as 1990.

 

Questions on procedure

 

Warner, in his claim, is questioning the procedure adopted by the Office of the Attorney General here in signing off on the US's request for his extradition made in May, 2105, at the end of the US Department of Justice's investigation into the world governing football body, FIFA.

He is facing fraud and money-laundering charges related to his two decades as a FIFA vice-president.

Warner's attorneys are alleging that this country's extradition treaty with the US contradicts the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act. They are claiming that, in passing the act, Parliament afforded citizens certain protections which are ignored by the international treaty.

He is also complaining that Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi failed to give his attorneys a fair opportunity to make representations to him before he signed off on the Authority to Proceed, which was required to kick off the proceedings before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar.

Shortly after taking over the case from his predecessor Garvin Nicholas in September, 2015, Al-Rawi extended the option to Warner. However, his attorneys allegedly refused as they said it was made a day before Al-Rawi was required to approve the extradition.

Warner claims the case against him is politically motivated and accuses the United States of seeking revenge because it lost to Qatar in its bid to host the 2022 World Cup.