US starts extradition process against Warner

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad –– Official documentation requesting the extradition of Independent Liberal Party (ILP) leader and former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has been delivered to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Around midday yesterday the package was dropped off via courier and was slated to be sent to Central Authority head Netram Kowlessar today.

The package, sources said, also gave detailed listings of the alleged offences against Warner, who is wanted on wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering charges.

Contacted yesterday evening, Attorney General Garvin Nicholas said he was unaware that the US Department of Justice had sent the necessary paperwork for the commencement of extradition proceedings.

US start process of getting their hands on wanted MP Austin ‘Jack’ Warner.
US start process of getting their hands on wanted MP Austin ‘Jack’ Warner.

“I am unaware of that,” Nicholas said.

Kowlessar said: “I don’t know. I wasn’t in office today [yesterday]. I will check when I go in tomorrow [today].”

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran when contacted also said he was unaware if any package had arrived.

Sources told the Express, that extradition proceedings ought to come through diplomatic channels and this would be through Foreign Affairs and then sent to the Central Authority.

It has been a month since a provisional warrant was issued for the arrest of Warner.

Warner is currently on $2.5 million bail after surrendering himself to Fraud Squad officers on May 27 after learning the warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Meanwhile Warner has hired the lawyer who represented the Moors murderer Myra Hindley in his fight against extradition to the United States.

Edward Fitzgerald QC, who has also represented the controversial Muslim cleric Abu Hamza, has confirmed he is advising Warner and his legal team in Trinidad.

Warner is accused of taking a $10m (£6.5m) bribe to vote for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.

Significantly, Fitzgerald has also represented the Trinidad businessman Steve Ferguson, who has successfully resisted extradition to the USA for the last ten years.

Fitzgerald, who has won human rights awards for his cases challenging death sentences, confirmed he was working for Warner but said he could not discuss any details of the case.

Warner’s sons Daryll and Daryan, and his former deputy Chuck Blazer, have all pleaded guilty to related charges among 18 people who have been indicted by US authorities. Seven of them, including Warner’s successor as CONCACAF president, Jeffrey Webb, are in custody in Switzerland pending extradition hearings.

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