Trinidad AG signs documents paving way for extradition proceedings against Jack Warner

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PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad — Trinidad and Tobago’s attorney general has signed documents allowing authorities to potentially go ahead with a U.S. effort to extradite former FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner to face charges in a corruption case that has shaken international soccer, officials said in court Monday.

Attorney General Faris Al Rawi signed “authority to proceed” documents in the high-profile extradition case against the indicted Warner, said Queen’s Counsel James Lewis, who represents the state. He made the comments Monday at Port-of-Spain magistrate’s court.

Al Rawi would not comment on specifics Monday, saying only that “the process is still unfolding.”

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The case against the former FIFA powerbroker was adjourned until Friday while Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington reviews the matter.

Warner is resisting extradition on U.S. charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering in the FIFA corruption case. He is required to report twice weekly to a police station near his home and his passport has been seized.

U.S. prosecutors allege South Africa funneled $10 million in 2008 to Warner and two other FIFA executives as payment for them supporting its successful bid to host the 2010 World Cup.

Officials also allege that Warner and others, including former FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer of the United States, got rich off accounts they controlled through CONCACAF, which oversees soccer in the Caribbean and North and Central America. Blazer has co-operated with authorities.

Warner left FIFA in 2011 after being implicated in an earlier bribery scandal. He has denied wrongdoing.

Some Trinidad legal experts, including former Attorney General Ramesh Maharaj, have said the extradition request against Warner could take three to five years to resolve in the twin-island Caribbean republic off the coast of Venezuela.

In general elections earlier this month, Warner lost a re-election bid for a Parliament seat by a wide margin.


The Associated Press

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