FORMER politician and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has suffered his second loss against the initiation of extradition proceedings against him.
The loss comes as the Appeal Court in Port of Spain yesterday dismissed his application for judicial review which was also previously dismissed by a High Court judge in September 2017.
However, although the appeal was dismissed, the extradition proceedings will not commence as the Appeal Court panel granted a stay of 21 days of the magisterial proceedings pending an application by Warner to further argue his case at the Privy Council.
Warner is seeking to challenge the process by which the extradition proceedings against him are being carried out. He is attempting to have the court quash the Authority to Proceed (ATP) that was signed by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi in September 2015, after the United States made a request for his extradition in May of that year.
Warner is contending that this country’s extradition treaty with the US contradicts the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act and that in passing the Act, Parliament afforded citizens certain protections which are ignored by the international treaty.
Another argument was that Warner was not given the opportunity by the Attorney General to make representations before the AG signed off on the ATP.
But in their 40-page ruling, Justices of Appeal Gregory Smith, Prakash Moosai and Andre Des Vignes unanimously agreed that the appeal had to be dismissed.
They upheld the ruling of High Court judge James Aboud, who had previously dismissed Warner’s application for judicial review. The judges stated that the extradition treaty had not been shown to lack conformity with the Act and that there was no merit in Warner’s case.
“Therefore, the pending extradition proceedings in respect of the appellant before the magistrate are valid,” the judges stated.
The went further to say that “there was no denial of justice in the issuance of the ATP by the Attorney General.”
Warner is wanted in the United States for allegedly committing a series of fraud-related offences during his tenure as vice-president of the world’s football governing body.
He first appeared at the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court on May 27, 2015, after surrendering himself to Fraud Squad officers, having learnt that the provisional warrant had been issued for his arrest.
He was granted bail in the sum of $2.5 million but was unable to access the bail before the closure of the court that day.
This resulted in him having the spend the night in prison and being released the following day.
He is being represented by attorneys Fyard Hosein, SC, Rishi Dass, Sasha Bridgemohansingh and Anil Maraj, while Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes, Michael Quamina and Sean Julien appeared for the Office of the Attorney General.