Warner loses extradition appeal

Former Government Minister Jack Warner has lost his appeal over the dismissal of his lawsuit challenging the United States (US) extradition request for him.

Three Judges of the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of Justice James Aboud to dismiss his judicial review lawsuit in September, 2017.

Their decision does not mean that Warner's extradition proceedings will finally commence before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle as the judges granted a stay pending the filing of Warner's appeal to the Privy Council.

Warner is challenging the procedure adopted by the Office of the Attorney General (AG) in signing off on the US’s request for his extradition, made in May 2015.

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

In his 50-page judgement, Aboud agreed that there were minor inconsistencies between the treaty and legislation, but said Warner's concerns were exaggerated and speculative.

Aboud also noted that Warner's rights would be protected during the eventual extradition proceedings before  Busby-Earle-Caddle as she would have to apply local laws to the charges against Warner alleged in the US extradition request.

Warner was also complaining that AG 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 in the magistrates' court.

Aboud ruled that Warner did not have a right to be consulted.

WARNER’S CASE

Warner, 73, a former Fifa vice-president, is accused of 12 charges related to fraud, racketeering and engaging in illegal wire transfers.

The offences are alleged to have taken place in the United States, T&T and other jurisdictions between 1990 and June 2011 when Warner quit Fifa.

He is one of several senior executives of world football’s governing body who were indicted on a series of charges after an investigation into corruption in football, conducted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice.

Several have pleaded guilty to the charges and are serving sentences in the US.

 - by Derek Achong

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