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Former vice-president of football’s world governing body FIFA, Austin ‘Jack’ Warner has lost the final battle in his fight against extradition to the United States on corruption charges.
London’s Privy Council, Trinidad and Tobago’s highest appeal court, on Thursday, dismissed Warner’s lawyers’ contention that the extradition request was unlawful, paving the way for the extradition proceedings in the twin-island republic’s magistrate court to continue.
Warner had challenged the procedure of the extradition proceedings – following the US request, on July 24, 2015, for him to face charges of wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering – as well as the authority to proceed (ATP) granted by the Attorney General in September that year which gave the court the authority to begin the proceedings.
Warner, who also served as CONCACAF president, was indicted in May 2015. US prosecutors allege that from as far back as 1990, he leveraged his influence and exploited his official positions for personal gain.
Among other things, the 79-year-old former football administrator is accused of receiving $5 million in bribes – sent via more than two dozen separate wire transfers, from 10 different shell companies, to a Caribbean Football Union account he controlled at Republic Bank in Trinidad and Tobago – to vote for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.
Warner was one of 14 defendants charged in connection with the 24-year scheme that prosecutors alleged was designed to “enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer”.
In 2015, FIFA banned him from all soccer-related activities for life. (CMC)