PORT OF SPAIN: Jack Warner appears as far away as ever from FIFAGate extradition to the United States writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Warner, former vice-president of world federation FIFA by virtue of his role as head of the central and North American confederation CONCACAF, was indicted by the US Justice Department when the scandal exploded in May 2015.
The one-time major football powerbroker is wanted to stand trial on corruption charges arising out of the $200m investigation.
However the 75-year-old one-time Trinidad & Tobago government minister had already walked away from football after an ethics inquiry had been launched in 2011 into presidential vote-rigging allegations. He has always maintained his innocence of all accusations.
The latest twist in the extradition saga was played out in the Trinidad High Court on Monday when Justice of Appeal Mark Mohammed granted a stay on extradition proceedings until November.
This was to allow time for an appeal by Warner against a ruling from Justice James Aboud which had cleared the way for the start of extradition proceedings in the magistrates’ court.
In September, Aboud dismissed Warner’s claim for a judicial review. Warner’s lawyers had sought a review on the basis of contraditions between local law and the Extradition Treaty and Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act.
Aboud ruled Warner’s concerns as exaggerated and speculative.
Warner had also argued that Attorney-General Faris Al-Rawi had failed to give his legal team a fair opportunity to make representations before he approved the Authority to Proceed, which was required to restart proceedings in the magistrates’ court.
Also resisting extradition successfully – so far – is Paraguayan Nicolas Leoz, a former president of South American confederation CONMEBOL.