News Americas, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Tues. July 28, 2015: Looks like the U.S. government will have to wait to get football big wig and former Caribbean minister of government Jack Warner in a U.S. Court any time soon.
Warner, former FIFA vice-president and T&T national security minister, said Monday he has instructed his legal team to file for a judicial review of the extradition proceedings on the grounds that Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s government had “prosecuted” the case against him and made it impossible for him to get a fair trial.
The leader of the Independent Liberal Party, an opposition party in the Caribbean nation’s parliament, is being represented by attorneys Fyard Hosein SC, Nyree Alphonso, Rishi Dass and Anil Maharaj, and he has retained British QC, Edward Fitzgerald, to lead his defense.
On Monday, a Trinidad magistrate again pushed back a hearing on the US’ extradition request – this time to August 28th. The hearing was adjourned by Judge Marcia Ayers-Caesar after state and defense lawyers requested more time to study the US’ corruption allegations against the former football big wig and former national security minister.
Warner, 72, has been on TT$2.5 million bail ever since he was arrested on May 27th as part of a dragnet by US law enforcement authorities that also netted 14 former and present FIFA officials worldwide. A July 9th hearing on the matter was also adjourned because U.S. authorities had yet to send charges to Trinidad.The U.S. formally submitted an extradition request for him last week.
Warner is accused of taking payments totaling $10 million sent by a high-ranking FIFA official to give South Africa the right to host the 2010 World Cup. He has vowed to fight extradition to the U.S. on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering in the FIFA corruption case.
Legal experts, including Trinidadian-American attorney, Roger Archibald, believe the extradition could take some five to seven years.
Meanwhile, former CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, was extradited to the US late last week and release on US$10 million bail recently. He is reportedly working out a plea deal with prosecutors.