Wed, Sep 23, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Trinidad and Tobago to rule on Friday on extraditing Warner

AFP, PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago

Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner listens during an Independent Liberal Party meeting in Surrey, Trinidad and Tobago, on June 11.

Photo: AFP

A Trinidad and Tobago magistrate is on Friday to rule on whether to extradite former FIFA vice president Jack Warner to face charges linked to a corruption scandal sweeping soccer’s governing body.

Warner, a 72-year-old native of the Caribbean island, was indicted in May by a US grand jury on 12 charges of wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

Attorney General Faris al-Rawi on Monday authorized the extradition case to proceed, and on Friday, a magistrate is to issue a ruling after studying arguments presented by the prosecution and the defense.

However, Warner’s defense is challenging the decision, saying that al-Rawi’s authorization was signed five days after a deadline set by the court.

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

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

Only three of those charged are in the jurisdiction of New York.

Warner and nine other defendants are still fighting extradition to the US.

Swiss media earlier this month reported that FIFA president Sepp Blatter sold off television rights for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups to Warner at a knockdown price.

Swiss television channel SRF alleged that Blatter signed off the screening rights for the South Africa and Brazil tournaments to Warner for US$600,000 — a mere 5 percent of their true market value.

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