Jack Warner ups fight against extradition to the US
Austin Jack Warner, the former FIFA Vice President wanted by the United States on charges of corruption and racketeering, has taken a new tac in his fight against extradition.
Warner, a former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association and CONCACAF president, has been fighting extradition in the courts of the twin-island republic ever since a massive United States Department of Justice investigation uncovered massive corruption inside FIFA at the highest levels.
Warner, one of the first to be implicated along with his successor, Jeffrey Webb, has said an extradition from Trinidad and Tobago was not legal.
During court yesterday, British Queen’s Counsel James Lewis, the man leading the case for the United States, was made to defend the country’s presence in a matter that should be dealing with the T&T constitution.
Lewis argued that the US government, as the requesting state, had sufficient interest in the proceedings to be allowed to be heard.
According to the attorney, “The court can be misled if we are not here to make representations”.
James also said it would not be sensible for the Attorney General to be positing the US’ position on the extradition, however, Warner’s lead counsel, Fyard Hosein SC said Civil Proceedings Rules and legislation governing extraditions and judicial review, must be adhered to.
According to Hosein, the rules have to do with Trinidad and Tobago domestic law and not international law, making the United States’ presence in proceedings not just unwarranted, but illegal without statutory power.
“You need statutory power to intervene,” said Hosein.
“No foreign government has common law right to approach any court in extradition proceedings save and except where it is given the statutory authority to do so,” said Hosein.
Warner was indicted in May of 2014 by a US grand jury, along with 13 other former FIFA officials.