Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, banned for life from football-related activities, won the first round Friday in his battle to avoid extradition to the United States.
Justice James Aboud granted leave for Warner’s legal team to pursue his challenge of the extradition order filed against him as part of the corruption scandal unveiled last May by the US Justice Department.
Aboud backed Warner’s position that the challenge of the “legality of the extradition order … was more than arguable” and granted a stay of the proceedings at the Magistrates court, which was adjourned to February 26 for hearing and further direction before the start of the trial.
Warner, 72, is wanted on a host of bribery, money laundering and racketeering charges related to allegations of corruption at the highest level of the world governing body for football.
“Very pleased,” Warner said as he departed the Trinidad and Tobago Hall of Justice in the capital Port-of-Spain.
But Warner said the government was moving with “indecent haste” to fulfill the US request to have him face charges there.
Justice Aboud agreed on two of the three legal points raised by Warner’s lawyers, striking out a contention of apparent bias in agreeing to the US State Department request.
Aboud said he was “prioritising the matter” so it could be heard expeditiously but Warner’s lead attorney, Fyard Hosein, questioned why that move should be made.
Hosein signalled to the court that he intends to lead “expert testimony” from a witness in the matter which he said was “quite complex” and involved various international territories and jurisdictions.
Hosein intended to argue on points of international treaty and where it might conflict with Trinidad and Tobago’s extradition act. – Agence France-Presse