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US extradition request: Trinidad’s Jack Warner on bail but remains in custody

Jack Warner leaving court.

Trinidad and Tobago politician, Jack Warner was this afternoon granted $2.5 million bail (US$394,000) but has failed to secure his release, hours after government announced that it had received an extradition request for the former FIFA Vice President for alleged financial crimes, the Trinidad Express newspaper reported.

In addiiton, his attorney were unable to secure an emergency sitting of a judge in the High Court, to consider his bail application. Warner is now at an unknown location. It is uncertain whether he will spend the night at the Maximum Security Prison, Arouca, or at a police station.

Warner appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court, charged with 12 offences related to racketeering, corruption and money laundering allegedly committed in the jurisdiction of the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, dating as far back as 1990.

Each of the charges was read to Warner, who was not called upon to plead.

He was represented by attorney Fyard Hosein who told the court that Warner, a former Special Reserve Police officer and school teacher, was now a Parliamentarian of good character.

Hosein said Warner had voluntarily surrendered to the police on learning that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, and had not travelled out of Trinidad and Tobago for four years.

Senior Counsel Pamela Elder said that the attorneys representing the Central Authority had examined the details of the offences and the provisions of the Bail Act, and after careful consideration, would not object to bail being granted.

However, she asked that conditions be attached.

Magistrate Ayers-Caesar ordered that Warner report to the Arouca Police Station every Monday and Thursday between 6 a.m and 6 p.m.

He was ordered to reappear in court on July 9.

Warner’s court appearance came within hours of the US Department of Justice’s request to the Office of the Attorney General’s Central Authority that Warner be extradited to the US to face a series of charges related to his time as a FIFA Vice-President.

Warner’s court appearance was the culmination the US Justice Department’s investigation that spanned years, involved individuals on three continents and probed a money trail dating back 24 years. Investigators moved on Wednesday against the defendants in a surprise raid on a five start hotel in Switzerland, where FIFA officials had gathered ahead of Friday’s FIFA presidential election. The seven FIFA officials who were arrested at the hotel also face extradition to the US.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, a US law enforcement organisation, also raided the headquarters of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) in Miami.

Warner’s two sons have pleaded guilty to related charges in the US.