Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) (AFP) – Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner will learn Friday whether he is to be extradited to the United States to face charges linked to a corruption scandal sweeping football’s world governing body. Warner, a 72-year-old a native of the Caribbean island, 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 in bribes and kickbacks over two decades.
On July 23, US authorities asked for Warner, a former head of soccer’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.
Trinidad Attorney General Faris Al Rawi on Monday said the extradition case could proceed, and on Friday a magistrate will issue a ruling after hearing arguments. Warner’s defense is challenging the decision, noting that Al Rawi’s authorization was signed five days after a deadline set by the court.
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.
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 percent of their true market value.
Warner has claimed that the US case against him is politically motivated and that America is trying to exact revenge because it lost out to Qatar in the vote to host the 2022 World Cup.
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