TRINIDAD GUARDIAN – Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has finally signed off on the United States extradition request for corruption accused former Fifa vice president Jack Warner.
The announcement was made this morning as Warner reappeared in the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court.
While Al-Rawi’s decision went unchallenged by Warner’s lawyer, Fyard Hosein SC, he took issue with the fact that Al-Rawi missed the last Wednesday’s deadline for doing so.
Although Hosein acknowledged that Al-Rawi had written to Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers Caesar seeking an extension he noted that none had been approved. As a result Hosein claimed that his client was entitled to be automatically discharged.
Lead counsel for the State James Lewis QC submitted that such a move would be strictly academic as Warner would be immediately reindicted.
Lewis claimed that by signing the authority to proceed in the case the proceedings against Warner changed rendering the deadline null and void. He indicated that Warner should have applied for the discharge immediately upon the expiration of the deadline last week.
In response, Hosein admitted that proceedings against his client could be reinstated if he is discharged but revealed that his client may require the discharge for future legal proceedings against the extradition.
Ayers Caesar was absent from the hearing which was chaired by Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington. Wellington adjourned the case to Friday when he will make his ruling.
“I am troubled by the difference if opinion between the parties on this point and I need time to consider all that is before me,” Wellington said.
This morning’s hearing is the first time since Al-Rawi fired six members of the State’s legal team in the case last Friday. In addition to Lewis, Senior Counsel Pamela Elder and attorney Brent Hallpike, the only two locals to be kept on the team, were present as was Central Authority head, Netram Kowlessar.