Jack Warner to take extradition case to Privy Council

Jack Warner leaves the Port of Spain Magistrate's Court. - ANGELO M. MARCELLE
Jack Warner leaves the Port of Spain Magistrate's Court. - ANGELO M. MARCELLE

FORMER government minister Jack Warner has received final leave to take his challenge of the extradition proceedings against him to the Privy Council.

At a leave hearing at the Court of Appeal on Monday, Justices Nolan Bereaux, Gregory Smith and Andre des Vignes granted the former FIFA vice president permission to take his challenge to the final appellate court in London.

Warner is challenging the process by which the extradition proceedings against him are being carried out and seeks to quash the authority to proceed (ATP) which was signed in 2016 by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. The ATP gave the magistrate the green light to begin committal proceedings. Warner also challenged the legality of the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act, and the treaty signed between this country and the US.

In June 2019, the Court of Appeal dismissed his judicial review claim, but stayed the proceedings before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle Caddle so that Warner could seek permission to argue his case at the Privy Council.

The court, in its ruling on the appeal, held that the extradition treaty had not been shown to lack conformity with the act and there was no merit in Warner’s case that the US order, which declared that country as a declared foreign territory, was not valid.

“Therefore, the pending extradition proceedings in respect of the appellant before the magistrate are valid,” the court held, adding that “there was no denial of justice in the issuance of the ATP by the Attorney General.”

Warner is wanted in the US for a series of fraud-related offences allegedly committed during his tenure as vice-president of world football’s governing body FIFA.

He surrendered himself to fraud squad officers on May 27, 2015, after learning of the provisional warrant.

He is on $2.5 million bail.

In a separate matter, Warner also received the appellate court’s final permission to challenge a decision of the court to fork out substantially more in compensation to deputy Chaguanas Mayor Faaiq Mohammed for an attack on his character in 2013.

Final leave to go to the Privy Council was granted to Warner on Friday by the Court of Appeal.

In May 2019, Warner was ordered by the appellate court to pay an increase in damages and exemplary damages to Mohammed, amounting to $650,000 plus interest.

Warner had accused Mohammed, who was an ILP councillor in the Chaguanas Borough Corporation, of accepting a $2.5 million bribe to vote for a United National Congress (UNC) candidate for the post of presiding officer during the corporation’s first meeting.

The former ILP chairman also threatened to “deal with” Mohammed and ensure that “his political career is finished.” Mohammed was immediately expelled from the ILP.


"Jack Warner to take extradition case to Privy Council"

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