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US appeals High Court ruling in favour of Warner

Embattled former FIFA vice president, Austin Jack Warner Embattled former FIFA vice president, Austin Jack Warner
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jul 5, CMC – The United States government has filed an appeal against a High Court ruling that Washington be excluded from being part of the judicial review claim brought by former FIFA vice president Jack Warner  challenging his extradition to that country on fraud related charges.

 In his ruling last month, Justice James Aboud questioned the contribution Washington could have made to the proceedings before him, noting that to allow the US intervention would set a precedent which could see school principals and business people from having a say on the number of public holidays.

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.

Hearing of the procedural appeal was due to have started on Monday, but it was adjourned to July 18, at the request of attorneys.The US government had sought to be an interest party in the hearing of the judicial review, claiming that d it should be granted permission to be heard as it had sufficient interest in the proceedings to be heard.

But Justice Aboud in his oral ruling asked: “What can it say differently from the AG? 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,” Justice Aboud added.

He said to allow the US intervention would set a precedent which could see school principals and business people having a say on the number of public holidays.

Hearing of the extradition proceedings in the magistrates court has been stayed by Justice Aboud, who will entertain submissions on Warner’s application to admit expert evidence on July 13.
Warner claims the case against him is politically motivated and accuses the United States of seeking revenge because it lost to Qatar in its bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

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