Jack Warner loses challenge against extradition

Jack Warner.
Jack Warner.

Former FIFA vice president and government minister Jack Warner has lost his challenge to his extradition to the US  to face a barrage of fraud-related charges.

On Thursday, five Privy Council judges – Lords Hodge, Briggs, Hamblem, Burrows, and Sir Declan Morgan – delivered their decision on Warner’s challenge.

The Privy Council held the request for Warner's extradition was not unfair.

He challenged the process by which the extradition proceedings against him were carried out and seeks to quash the authority to proceed (ATP) signed by the Attorney General in September 2015. This was after the US asked for the former football jefe to be extradited to face some 29 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering. The request was made on July 24, 2015.

Extradition proceedings at the magistrates’ court in Trinidad had been stayed pending his legal challenges.

After the 2015 general election, then-attorney general Faris Al-Rawi offered to allow Warner to make representations, but only on the condition the deadline for receipt of the ATP would be extended with his consent.

Warner refused to agree to the condition. His attorneys argued he was not given sufficient time to make representations, nor was he given disclosures of any evidence the US intended to use to secure his extradition.

The ATP gave the magistrate the green light to begin committal proceedings.

The Privy Council said, "...The offer by the new Attorney General was inevitably subject to agreeing a fresh timetable with the court. It was the appellant’s choice to decline that opportunity. The Attorney General did not act unfairly."

Warner had also challenged the legality of the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act, and the treaty signed between this country and the US.

Warner surrendered to Fraud Squad officers on May 27, 2015, after learning of a provisional warrant for his arrest.

After the ATP was signed giving the go-ahead for extradition proceedings to start, FIFA banned Warner from all football activities for life.

He and 13 other FIFA officials were indicted in the US. Warner was also head of Concacaf.

In the US charge sheet against him, Warner is accused of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery; and allegedly, from the early 1990s, he "began to leverage his influence and exploit his official positions for personal gain."

He also allegedly accepted a million-dollar bribe from South African officials in return for voting to award them the 2010 World Cup, and allegedly bribed officials with envelopes of cash.


"Jack Warner loses challenge against extradition"

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