Trinidad judge adjourns extradition hearing for Warner
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner won more time Thursday in his fight to avoid being extradited from Trinidad to the United States to face corruption charges.
Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Ceasar set a new hearing date of July 27. Defense lawyer Nyree Alfonso said Thursday's hearing was adjourned until then because U.S. authorities have yet to send charges and a formal extradition request to Trinidad.
A grinning Warner emerged from the Port-of-Spain courthouse surrounded by supporters. He declined to answer reporters' questions before being whisked away in a car.
Warner is resisting extradition and has predicted a lengthy legal battle to extradite him to the U.S. to face charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering in the FIFA corruption case.
He is accused of taking payments totaling $10 million sent by a high-ranking FIFA official to give South Africa the right to host the 2010 World Cup. Warner left FIFA in 2011 after being implicated in an earlier bribery scandal. He has denied wrongdoing.
U.S. prosecutors allege South Africa paid the millions in 2008 to Warner and two other FIFA executive committee members as payback for supporting that country's successful bid to host the 2010 World Cup over Morocco.
Officials also allege Warner and others, including former FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer of the United States, got rich off accounts they controlled through CONCACAF, which oversees soccer in the Caribbean and North and Central America. Blazer has cooperated with authorities.
In Trinidad, Warner has had his passport seized and his bail requirements include reporting twice weekly to a police station near his home. He is campaigning for Sept. 7 general elections as leader of an opposition party.
Legal experts, including former attorney general Ramesh Maharaj, believe that Warner's extradition request could take three to five years to resolve in Trinidad.