Trinidad to rule on extraditing Warner in FIFA corruption scandal

Trinidad to rule on extraditing Warner in FIFA corruption scandal
Former FIFA Vice-President Austin Jack Warner (L), who leads the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), speaks to the press after voting at the Five Rivers Hindu primary school near his home in Arouca, Trinidad and Tobago on September 7, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

PORT OF SPAIN - Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner will learn Friday if he is to be extradited to the US to face charges linked to a corruption scandal sweeping football's world governing body.

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

US authorities have charged 14 FIFA officials and sports marketing executives of soliciting and receiving more than $150 million 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 from Trinidad 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 United States -- six from Switzerland where they were arrested in a May swoop on a Zurich hotel -- two from Argentina, and one from Uruguay.

Trinidad Attorney General Faris Al Rawi on Monday said the extradition case against Warner could proceed, and on Friday a magistrate will issue a ruling after hearing arguments.

Warner's defence is challenging Al Rawi's decision, however, saying that the authorisation was signed five days after a court deadline.

Swiss media reported in mid-September that FIFA president Sepp Blatter sold off television rights for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups to Warner at a mere five per cent of their true market value.

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