June 13 – Are the US authorities edging closer to snaring the man they want more than anyone else among the powerbrokers snared in the $200 million FIFAGate corruption scandal?
Former FIFA vice-president and Concacaf boss Jack Warner, who for four years since the May 2015 US indictments has escaped being put on trial while other former colleagues have been jailed, has lost his latest procedural complaint against being extradited to the US from his native Trinidad.
Warner has failed in his appeal over the dismissal of his lawsuit challenging the extradition request. Three Judges of the Court of Appeal upheld the original decision to dismiss his judicial review lawsuit in September, 2017.
However, he could still stave off being sent to the US with the Appeal Court staying a ruling by three judges for 21 days pending an application by Warner for permission to argue his case at the Privy Council.
Warner claimed the procedures adopted by the Trinidad and Tobago attorney general in agreeing his extradition (under a treaty agreed with the US) in 2015 contradicted the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act passed by parliament. He claimed that the act gave Trinidad and Tobago citizens certain protections which are ignored by the international treaty.
FIFA’s former senior vice-president 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, currently on $2.5 million bail, has not left his homeland since the original arrests of FIFA officials by the US Department of Justice in May 2015 that brought FIFA to its knees. While others have been brought to justice in the United States, Warner, the former long-time president of CONCACAF, has managed to slip through every legal loop.
In a 50-page judgement, the judges agreed that there were minor inconsistencies between the treaty and legislation but said Warner’s concerns were exaggerated and speculative.
“Therefore, the pending extradition proceedings in respect of the appellant before the magistrate are valid,” the judges sad held, adding that “there was no denial of justice” in what the attorney general had ruled.
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