June 20, 2021

Warner files judicial review to block extradition on corruption charges

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Jack-Warner-0071From CARIBBEAN360

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Sunday November 29, 2015 – Corruption accused Jack Warner has filed an application for judicial review, challenging his extradition to the United States.

Warner, through his attorneys Senior Counsel Fyard Hosein, Rishi Dass, Nyree Alfonso, Sasha Bridgemohansingh and Anil Maraj, is asking the High Court to stay the proceedings and declare the extradition order and the Authority to Proceed (ATP) issued by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi null and void.

Warner, 72, is accused of 29 counts of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, bribery during his time in football’s world governing body, FIFA.

The former FIFA vice-president has denied all allegations, but extradition proceedings have begun before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar.

However, those proceedings will be stayed pending the outcome of the judicial review application.

The judicial review notes breaches of natural justice in the issuance of the ATP – the document required to begin the extradition process; the failure to provide Warner with a fair hearing; as well as the issue of bias as the Attorney General was advised by lawyers representing the interests of the US in the proceedings in the courts.

IMAGE: Jack-Warner

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/warner-files-judicial-review-to-block-extradition-on-corruption-charges#ixzz3t5wff4hL

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By Jada Loutoo From Newsday T&T

FORMER FIFA vice-president Jack Warner was once considered “football’s darling”. He held one of the highest positions in the international football body, was close to the sport’s boss, suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter, and was said to be worth millions.

Now Warner, who no longer walks through football’s corridors of power, is now concerned about being left in a “parlous financial state” during his last years.

The 72-year-old former politician, now newspaper publisher and corruption accused, in his affidavit to support his application to have the entire process adopted so far by the government to have him extradited to the United States (US) nullified, says he is concerned over what the bill for his defence would do to him.

“I am concerned that the amount of money it will take to defend myself in relation to these charges will drain all of my resources and leave me in a parlous financial state during my last years when I am found not guilty,” he said.

Holding fast to his promise, the former Fifa vice-president last Friday approached the High Court seeking to have deemed illegal the go-ahead given by Attorney General (AG) Faris Al-Rawi to proceed with extraditing the former government minister to the United States (US).

He is also challenging the Extradition Order issued by the US, saying it goes against local extradition laws.

Warner’s lawyers filed the voluminous application and are awaiting a date for the leave hearing.

The former FIFA vice-president is represented by Senior Counsel Fyard Hosein, Rishi Dass, Nyree Alfonso, Sasha Bridgemohansingh and Anil Maraj. According to documents supporting his application for leave, Warner said since the beginning of the process to have him face criminal prosecution in the US, he has had significant and persistent anxiety over the extradition process.

He said he has also read in various American and international publications that the bond arrangements for other persons accused of corruption related charges are extremely high.

Warner quoted reports from the Cayman Islands that Jeff Webb, a former Concacaf president and FIFA vice president like himself and his successor at FIFA before also being named in the US indictment, was going “broke” in meeting his US$10 million bond and complying with his house arrest arrangements in New York, which are conditionalities for his bail.

Webb has also been indicted on alleged racketeering, conspiracy and corruption.

Warner also said he has read of the guilty plea of a former senior FIFA official in November, 2013, who was also released on a US$10 million bond, and the extradition of Alejandro Burzaco, the second accused person to be extradited to the US arising out of the FIFA debacle, who was placed on US$20 million bail.

Warner, who held positions as a minister in the last People’s Partnership government; chairman of the United National Congress; and political leader and chairman of the fledging Independent Liberal Party, withdrew from FIFA related activities in 2011.

There have been several allegations against him relating to the decades he spent in football, from black market ticket sales to requests for personal payments, and pocketing football’s money.

In 2013, Concacaf ’s Integrity Committee, headed by David Simmons, former Chief Justice of Barbados, issued a report accusing Warner and his former cohort Chuck Blazer of mismanagement and massive fraud.

Warner is alleged to have concealed his ownership of the land on which Concacaf ’s $25 million Joao Havalange Centre of Excellence was built, which made him the effective owner of the building.

Warner’s initial public reaction was defiant: “As far as I am aware it is baseless and malicious.

“I left Concacaf and turned my back on football two years ago.

Since then I have had no interest in any football-related matter.” Two years later he was indicted for wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering by the US Department of Justice and was banned from FIFA for life.

In his affidavit, Warner says since relinquishing his role as leader of the ILP, he moved back to the realm of business. Among the entities in whose management he is involved, are: Jamad Maintenance Services Limited, Multi Stores Limited; Joe Public Limited; Renraw Investments Limited; East Bend Management Limited; CCAM and Company Limited; Kantac Limited; and Sunshine Publishing Company Limited.

He says he also hold shareholdings in other companies.

Much of his affidavit surrounds the circumstances for his legal headaches, giving a time line of the extradition process thus far.

He returns to court on Wednesday, but this matter will be stayed pending the outcome of the determination of the judicial review application, which could take years if the case goes to Privy Council.

He also speaks of the exchanges between his attorneys and former AG Garvin Nicholas as well as the current AG Faris Al-Rawi, whom he accused of attempting to barter with his right to make representation against the continued ability of the AG to infringe his liberty with an arbitrary deadline of a few days prior to him signing the authority to proceed (ATP), which gave the go-ahead to the chief magistrate to commence extradition proceedings.

“My attorneys also emphasised the failure to provide disclosure requested and a fair hearing were the result of the position taken by the Attorney General.

“In fact, having delayed the extradition matter to the eve of the deadline imposed by the court, the Attorney General required my agreement to a further infringement of my rights that was contrary to the scheme of the Extradition Act,” he said.

According to the judicial review claim, there is no common law right of extradition and the mere existence of a treaty between TT and a foreign sovereign state is of itself of no domestic effect until and unless that treaty is incorporated into domestic law The application notes that the power to domestically incorporate an extradition treaty is given to the AG, by Order, under Section 4 of the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act, and remains an executive action, subject to the ordinary judicial review jurisdiction of the High Court.

Accordingly, the US request for extradition (US Order) purportedly made under Section 4 of the Act, remains delegated legislation, subject to being quashed as being ultra vires its empowering statute.

The lawsuit notes that the US Order, failed to comply with the strictures contained in the local Extradition Act; was not in conformity of the Act, and specifically offended against the restrictions contained in the Act against the return of persons to a requesting state.

The application says it was unlawful for a person to be tried and punished in the requesting state for extra- territorial offences where such offences, had they occurred outside of TT in similar circumstances, would not have constituted an offence in this country.

The lawsuit also went on to note that the US Order offended against the principle of minimum gravity by allowing a person to be detained, tried and punished for offences for which a magistrate has not ordered committal.

More fundamentally, the lawsuit said, the US request signals that this country will have no objection to a wanted person being detained, punished and tried for any number of offences for which they have not been sought and represented a “dilution” of the protection afforded by local extradition laws.

Warner’s lawyers have also cited breaches of natural justice in the issuance of the authority to proceed, the failure to provide Warner with a fair hearing, as well as the issue of bias as the AG was advised by lawyers representing the interests of the US in the proceedings in the courts.

The former Member of Parliament is also asking for declarations that the extradition request of the US be deemed unlawful as well as the authority to proceed signed by the AG, and orders that the request and the ATP be quashed.

Warner also wants that section 4(3) of the Extradition Act, which allows for the recitation of the treaty held with a foreign country in any extradition order made and prevents the legality of the order from being questioned in any legal proceedings, be declared unconstitutional and it be struck down.

Warner, who surrendered himself to Fraud Squad officers on May 27, after learning of the provisional warrant is currently on $2.5 million bail.

On September 21, days after the deadline for him to sign expired, Al-Rawi issued the authority to proceed.

One week later, an application by Warner’s lawyers to have the provisional warrant quashed, was denied by the deputy chief magistrate. Under the ATP, Warner is charged with 29 counts of several statutory offences, including money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act; corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act and receiving under the Larceny Act.

There are also several common law offences including conspiracy to accept corrupt payments; conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to defraud.

Warner was indicted in May by a US grand jury on 12 charges of wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering over an escalating scandal at FIFA, football`s world governing body.

US authorities have charged 14 FIFA officials and sports marketing executives of soliciting and receiving more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks over two decades.

On July 23, US authorities asked for Warner, a former head of football`s governing body in North America, Central America and the Caribbean (Concacaf) to be extradited to face the charges.

So far only three of those charged are in the jurisdiction of New York.

Warner and nine other defendants are still fighting extradition to the US —six from Switzerland, where they were arrested in a May swoop on a Zurich hotel — two from Argentina and one from Uruguay.

For more on this story go to: http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,220587.html

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