Port of Spain, Trinidad (Trinidad Express) — Citing political bias, corruption accused Jack Warner has instructed his attorneys to seek judicial review of his extradition proceedings.
Warner, leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), told the media that several Government ministers have been publicly making statements about his matter.
He said it was impossible for him to get a fair hearing, since his case had already been judged in the public domain.
Warner was speaking following his reappearance in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday on 12 charges related to racketeering, corruption and money laundering allegedly committed in the jurisdiction of the United States related to FIFA activities when he was vice-president.
He is currently on $2.5 million bail.
“When (Roodal) Moonilal and Kamla (PM Persad-Bissessar) and Prakash Ramadhar make their statements about the case and me and so on they should have known better because they are all lawyers,” Warner said, adding that he has evidence to prove his claims.
He added: “I’m saying that Moonilal, the Prime Minister, Prakash Ramadhar among others are politically biased in this matter. Therefore I am asking for a judicial review and I’ve so instructed my legal team.”
Warner is being represented by Fyard Hosein SC, Nyree Alphonso, Rishi Dass and Anil Maharaj, while the State is being represented by Israel Khan SC, Pamela Elder SC, attorneys Jagdeo Singh, Gerald Ramdeen, Wayne Sturge and Netram Kowlessar.
Should the Chaguanas West MP be successful in his application, the local proceedings against him will be halted pending the outcome of the judicial review application.
When the 72-year-old Arouca resident reappeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia-Ayers Caesar yesterday, State attorney Israel Khan SC requested sufficient time for Attorney General Garvin Nicholas to analyse the 166-page extradition documents which he received last Wednesday.
“The indictment filed in the US of 166 pages implicated several other persons so the Attorney General cannot look at this case in isolation,” Khan said.
Khan went on to call for the matter to be expedited as it was attracting international attention.
He said the African diaspora also had a keen interest in the matter.
Throughout his submissions he referred to Warner as a fugitive.
Defence attorney Fyard Hosein SC also asked for more time to review the documents and to consult with a US lawyer.
He said given the fact that the allegations against Warner went as far back as 1990, the case should be dealt with as soon as possible.
He requested that a date be fixed for late August or early September but Khan said a September date should not be considered as “coming close to September is a very important time for the fugitive”.
Warner is contesting the September 7 general election.
After a short hearing Ayers-Caesar adjourned the case to August 28.