By Paul Nicholson
August 2 – The expected ruling on whether former CONCACAF president and FIFA Vice President Jack Warner has been successful in blocking his extradition to the US has been postponed. This time to a date in September.
Trinidad High Court judge Justice James Aboud was originally scheduled to have delivered his verdict on Monday in Port of Spain.
Warner is challenging his extradition to the United States on corruption charges. He is accused of 12 offences related to racketeering, corruption and money laundering, allegedly committed in the US and Trinidad and Tobago, dating as far back as 1990.
Warner has not left Trinidad since the original arrests of FIFA officials by the US Department of Justice in May 2015. Warner was on the list of individuals indicted in what was a game-changing moment for FIFA that eventually lead to the collapse of FIFA’s then leadership and removal of its executive staff.
Warner is believed to have been one of the kingpins at the centre of the corruption within the global governing body and his own regional confederation. As such he is a central figure in building the US Justice Department’s RICO case – the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act which covers the prosecution of organised crime in the US.
In November 2015 Warner initiated judicial review proceedings against the Office of the Trinidad and Tobago attorney general in an attempt to block his extradition.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi in September 2015 gave the court the green light to begin the committal proceedings and extradition of Warner. That extradition was halted at the last minute with Warner’s challenge to the legality of the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act and the treaty signed between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.
Warner was released on bail in May 27, 2015. His continued freedom has been accompanied by his streadfast insistence that the claims against him are politically motivated by the US’s failure to win the 2022 World Cup bid. In reality the US Department of Justice case goes much deeper than just that vote.
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