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N Touch
Tuesday 24 October 2017
Crime and Court

Jack back in court

Jack Warner at the PoS High Court on Wednesday. PHOTO BY ROGER JACOB

Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner will return to the Port of Spain Magistrates Court on November 2.

Warner was at the magistrates court yesterday, a day after High Court judge James Aboud threw out Warner’s judicial-review claim challenging his extradition to the United States, on charges for fraud-related offences. Warner appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle yesterday, when the matter was adjourned to November 2.

Attorney Anil Maraj, who appears with Senior Counsel Fyard Hosein for Warner, told the magistrate the matter had been stayed until the end of October. Justice Aboud granted a 28-day stay to allow Warner’s team the opportunity to file an appeal.

Attorney Netram Kowlessar, who appears with James Lewis, QC, and Pamela Elder, SC, for the United States confirmed that the stay had been granted and suggested a date convenient to the court for attorneys to return.

In his ruling, Justice Aboud recognised there were minor inconsistencies between the Extradition Treaty and Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act, but noted that the treaty was not part of domestic law.

“Neither the Attorney General nor the magistrate, are legally bound by any of its provisions. Every accused person is entitled to the due-process protections in our legislation,” the judge held. He said the level of conformity required should guarantee that an extradition treaty did not compromise the fundamental rights of an accused person under domestic law.

“The process of extradition is a judicial process conducted before our country’s judicial officers and both acts contain exhaustive mechanisms for review and appeal,” he added.

Aboud said if a warrant of extradition was signed by the AG, it will be in accordance with TT’s domestic law not the treaty.

The judge also pointed out that there were several safeguards in domestic law and that there was no evidence that the US proceedings would be unfair to Warner. The committal proceedings began against Warner in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court after he surrendered to Fraud Squad officers on May 27, 2015, after learning of the provisional warrant. He is currently on $2.5 million bail.

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