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TRINIDAD-Court of Appeal dismisses US appeal regarding Warner

Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who is challenging extradition to the United States on fraud related matters. Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who is challenging extradition to the United States on fraud related matters.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  Dec 17, CMC – The Court of Appeal Friday dismissed an appeal by the United States government that it be allowed to make an appearance or enter submissions in the judicial review claim brought by former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who is challenging his extradition to the United States on fraud related matters.

The three member panel, including Chief Justice Ivor Archie unanimously ruled against Washington in its appeal of Justice James Aboud’s decision to exclude it from the case.

In a written ruling, the Court of Appeal said that it was the “obligation of the Requested State to appear on behalf of the Requesting State and represent its interests”, adding that the United States did not show that its interests and that of the Attorney General here were different.

The Court of Appeal said this raised the question of why the need for separate representation and placed onus on the United States to prove that it could make a useful contribution to the case if allowed to join in, which the US failed to do.

In his judgment delivered in June, Justice Aboud had stated even though the proceedings were relative to Warner’s extradition, the issue up for determination was strictly domestic and, as such, did not warrant the participation of the United States.

Warner, 72, was released on TT$2.5 million (One TT dollar =US$0.16) bail when he made his first court appearance on May 27 last year.

He is charged with 12 offences related to racketeering, corruption and money laundering allegedly committed in the jurisdiction of the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, dating as far back as 1990.

Warner, in his claim, is questioning the procedure adopted by the Office of the Attorney General in signing off on the US’s request for his extradition made in May, last year, at the end of the US Department of Justice’s investigation into the world governing football body.

Warner’s attorneys are alleging that this country’s extradition treaty with the US contradicts the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act.

They are claiming that, in passing the Act, Parliament afforded citizens certain protections which are ignored by the international treaty.

In his arguments before the Court of Appeal, the US attorney, British Queen’s Counsel James Lewis said his client did not have total confidence in the Office of the Attorney General to properly present the United States’ argument before the court.

But in his ruling the High Court had noted that the United States’ case was being presented by the Attorney General’s Office and that he was unaware of what the United States could say differently from the AG’s Office.

“It cannot be to say the same thing differently. Is the AG’s position different from the US? Does the AG want the US to say something he won’t say? It must be able to offer something more than repetition,” Aboud had said.

  • Countries: Trinidad_Tobago

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