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Warner gets July 27 date for US case; Wired868 brings extradition to life

Controversial Jamaat-al-Muslimeen Imam Yasin Abu Bakr will not be the most talked about man on this July 27—the 25th anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s attempted coup.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), according to the Extradition Act, has 60 days from the issuance of a provisional warrant to Chaguanas West MP and ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner to officially present its case for his extradition.

Photo: ILP political leader, Chaguanas West MP and ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner. (Copyright AFP 2015/Alva Viarruel)
Photo: ILP political leader, Chaguanas West MP and ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner.
(Copyright AFP 2015/Alva Viarruel)

And, coincidentally, those 60 days end on Sunday July 26. So, on Monday July 27, the legal parties for Warner and the State will return to the Port of Spain Magistrate’s Court, which is just a stone’s throw away from where Abu Bakr and his men launched their memorable attack on the Parliament.

As if this extradition case needed any more intrigue.

This morning—as the extradition hearing sort of started but really didn’t—was an orientation for all concerned.

It was a scheduled 9 am start but Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar was fashionably late and clocked in at 9.26 am.

Warner, whose fondness of early starts is one of his enduring myths, was already seated outside the court room at around 8 am when Wired868 got there.

Of course, the self-titled “Robin Hood” of Arouca is well aware of the importance of keeping character. Although there is no evidence to suggest that he bribed a few public servants, secretly taped any politicians or paid to send anyone through university while he waited for Ayers-Caesar to turn up.

Photo: ILP political leader and ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner presumably pays to send another constituent to a London university. (Copyright Diego Urdanete/AFP 2015)
Photo: ILP political leader and ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner presumably pays to send another constituent to a London university.
(Copyright Diego Urdanete/AFP 2015)

Inside the Magistrate’s Court, there was no opportunity for Warner to so much as clear his throat, much less release incriminating evidence about any members of the State’s legal term—and we are looking at you here, Gerald Ramdeen.

In court, paid guns—they favour the term ‘attorneys’—prefer to do the shooting, and legal jargon, customs and technicalities are mysterious enough as to ensure that the “do it yourself” phenomenon is yet to put lawyers out of work.

“Court room defence techniques for dummies” will have some ground to cover before it becomes nearly as weighty as “a lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client.”

So, Warner was represented by enough attorneys to fill three SUVs while the State’s gang looked just as well resourced.

FIFA money on the one hand, taxpayers’ money on the other.

Two thirds of the viewing gallery inside the court room were actually attorneys who had nothing to do with the case. Perhaps they hoped someone might trip over an adjective and a substitute would be needed. Or, more likely, they were there to learn from the big-hitters.

Thankfully, no fresh faced attorney asked Wayne Sturge for an autograph in the immediate aftermath.

Queen’s Counsel Allan Newman spoke for the State and he is as British as a grey afternoon, a cup of tea and an Enid Blyton book. So British he probably has a porcelain bulldog on his office desk and a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II next his family photos.

Or, if more illumination is needed, imagine Timothy Spall in character as Simon Graham in “The Last Samurai” or Peter Pettigrew in “Harry Potter.”

Photo: Er... Wired868 doesn't have a photo of Allan Newman QC. But this snap of British actor Timothy Spall will suffice.
Photo: Er… Wired868 doesn’t have a photo of Allan Newman QC.
But this snap of British actor Timothy Spall will suffice.

Newman asked Ayers-Caesar to adjourn the extradition case until August 14.

The QC noted that the DOJ had until July 27 to present its case for Warner’s extradition to Attorney General Garvin Nicholas. At this point, if the DOJ chose to go to the wire, Nicholas would need “reasonable time” to consider whether the United States’ request was strong enough to please the State.

It is worth noting that Newman did not pause here for guffaws about Nicholas having the temerity to question anything, or whether the State would not happily fly Warner to the United States itself if possible.

Newman explained that two weeks is considered a reasonable time in the United Kingdom—it was as if he did not even notice the framed picture of the Trinidad and Tobago’s Coat of Arms over Ayers-Caesar’s shoulder—and, as such, August 14 offered an acceptable balance between the time required for the AG’s deliberations and the promotion of justice.

Fyard Hosein, who spoke on Warner’s behalf, was decidedly less impressed with Newman’s timeframe.

If the DOJ does not present its case by July 26, Warner, according to the Extradition Act, would be discharged from the matter.

‘Discharged’, in this case, being a rather inelegant way of saying ‘free to go.’

So, why should Warner have this case hanging over his head for another two weeks, even if the DOJ failed to follow up on its interest in the alleged racketeer?

A July 27 court date, Hosein argued, would save Warner from suffering all the inconveniences of this high profile matter if, for some reason, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch is unable to keep her attention for longer than pop star Taylor Swift manages on most of her male targets.

Photo: United States Attorney General Loretta E Lynch has invited Jack Warner to a family reunion with his sons.
Photo: United States Attorney General Loretta E Lynch has invited Jack Warner to a family reunion with his sons.

At this point, there was a stand-off as Newman, having deduced that Hosein was through, rose to respond.

Hosein was having none of it.

“Just a minute,” he said, drily.

The Trinidadian attorney stuck his left arm out horizontally with palm pointing towards Newman, who hurriedly sat down. He let his arm stay there as backs stiffened all around the court room.

Then, after a minute’s silence, Hosein spoke.

“And that is our position,” he said.

And sat down.

He had obstructed Newman for no reason other than to allow himself a flourish.

Visiting attorneys giggled, reporters exchanged glances and policemen muttered excitedly among themselves.

Well, it is as close to a Mayweather/Pacquiao moment as you are likely to get in a court room. Maybe it was even more Mayweather/Pacquiao than Mayweather/Pacquaio, which, let’s be honest, had more chasing and cuddling than confrontations.

Photo: Follow the Money! Manny "Pacman" Pacquaio (right) tries to keep up with welterweight boxing champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather. (Copyright John Gurzinski/AFP 2015)
Photo: Follow the Money!
Manny “Pacman” Pacquaio (right) tries to keep up with welterweight boxing champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
(Copyright John Gurzinski/AFP 2015)

Newman, who is not one to use 20 words if he could manage 200, spent another eight minutes explaining why he had no real objection to returning to court on July 27.

He was, the British QC explained, only try to save everyone a bit of time and expense in suggesting an August 10 meeting.

It was a gallant offer from Newman towards local taxpayers. Funny how he topped the list of the State’s top earners then, with a reported TT $14,474,613.54 collected in legal fees between June 2010 and October 2013.

Predictably, Ayers-Caesar went with Hosein’s suggested date.

Round one to Warner then. Well, actually the fight isn’t started yet. That was just the showboating as Team J dot Warner moved from the dressing room and into the centre of the ring.

Wired868 did not get close enough to see if any of his cornermen had “Ask Yuh Mudda” written across the back of their black suits.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch: please report to the Port of Spain Magistrate’s Court.

AboutLasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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56 comments

  1. Oh you forgot that jack walked with his entire sunshine staff (the one reporter they have since most of the stories are written by himself) who also served as court jester …(pun intended)

  2. The AG should not have paid heed to the provisional request for extradition.
    I don’t see why Warner had to be arrested based on a mere request that wasn’t backed up by any evidence of wrongdoing.
    This govt is very spiteful and Warner will drag them down for causing him to spend a night in remand yard.

  3. chups allyuh sticking send he out

  4. very amusing but frightening……more of the latter.

  5. you say you will win, you telling the people in your constituancy that if they dont vote for you they ungratefull what else jack now you have goods on minister peters, keep going mr ripper.

  6. The White Plane will be coming for him very soon and he won’t be sitting in first class eh. Jack Warner really good yes.

  7. So you know that uncle Jack eh going nowhwre right?

  8. Savitri Maharaj getting there eh. been there a very long time ago now and being in the protective services eh, we do know and see alot of things eh. Them really good yes.

  9. Yuh getting there uncle Earl

  10. Oh I wasn’t insulted. I’m not paper thin. Thank goodness the weekend is almost here, take a break, recharge, and come out swinging next week 😉

  11. No insult intended Chabeth. And access to Internet and cable does not necessarily means knowledge of events but you know that as well. Just frustrated with the state of affairs in Trinidad and Tobago.

  12. You’re not the only one who follows the news Kendall Tull. We’ve all got internet and cable.

  13. How can there be any action by the authorities when they are also involve. Them really good yes.

  14. Think about it, the find down the islands, coke in the juice nothing ever came of those incidents. Massive inflows of funds and no action by the authorities. It’s shameful.

  15. I know Lasana but the possibility of trade and financial pressure is very real, especially since our record against money laundering and drug trafficking is poor.

  16. I’m sure that was tongue in cheek by Chabeth there Kendall Tull. Lol

  17. That problem was global Chabeth. It was reports on BBC. Besides, there is massive US investment here so they won’t go too far. More likely be trade and financial pressure.

  18. If the US doesn’t get Jack, there’ll be so many computer glitches at the embassy in POS that football managers who say it’s not their fault half the selected squad didn’t get a US visa would have to be believed.

  19. Btw, there was only one foreign crew in the Magistrate’s Court. They were there from Japan. The foreign press has finally tired of Warner teasing them about FIFA!

  20. Haha! You want licks. Allyuh really good yes!

  21. hahahahaha yuh know how ah like to start the bacchanal thing ent.

  22. Uncle Earl yuh really doh like we eh. Why yuh think they appointed the 2 most inefficient ‘liars’ to the team eh? Is a set ah grandcharging to make everyone feel they doing something…steups yes….the drama is good tho…like a good suspense novel…

  23. You are so right when you say any number can play hence the reason why meh untie Kamla will be wining another 5 yr term yes to finish the job that she started and make certain that he will be on the white plane eh. Them really good yes.

  24. I really hope karma catch up with Jack Earl Mango Pierre but doh hold yuh breath. In this Town anything could play. Ent Savitri Maharaj?

  25. Win what eh Savitri Maharaj, the corrupted Jack Warner has to pay for what he did to our footballers in 1973 and 1989 eh and to our sweet country eh, Bernie Maydoff and Standiford will be waiting on him very patiently when he returns to the America very soon. Them really good yes.

  26. …so all this to have no evidence by now…why all the blazing guns and American has not brought any evidence to date, I am confused.

  27. …so all this to have no evidence by now…why all the blazing guns and American has not brought any evidence to date, I am confused.

  28. Chabeth, I see we both on the same wavelength…Between you and me, I think he will win eh…look at the team prosecuting for the State, they so full of mishaps ans missteps.

  29. Ok, first king George V park, now this

  30. “Newman, who is not one to use 20 words if he could manage 200, spent another eight minutes explaining why he had no real objection to returning to court on July 27.” See you borrowed one of my lines – 20 as opposed to 200…lol!
    On a serious note tho, I know the state’s gonna lose this one…check the team lineup.

  31. Earl Best

    Kendall is right on the ball. Today’s event was mere window dressing, albeit difficult to unscheduled. The events that Wired868 readers – and the country – need reportage on are taking place well out of sight of the media but will take concrete shape and form on July 27 when we learn of the AG’s nolle prosequi decision. Read or re-read Fixin’ TT’s last Wired offering and pick sense out of nonsense.

  32. Absolutely brilliantly written! You have outdone yourself with this piece!

  33. I should have mentioned that too. Only a Japanese TV crew. Good point. Brian Springer. I will do an update to mention that.
    I think the international press grew tired of having their questions about FIFA and blatter turned down!

  34. Whatever back room bargaining is going on, know Jack will either be the greatest beneficiary or bargaining done! But I can’t imagine there’s too much to bargain. I imagine the US government would be more than a little pissed off if Jack isn’t extradited given that Loretta went on TV big big talking about this case.

  35. That’s true. And it meant I got there much earlier than I thought.

  36. Thanks for the virtual front row seat! And for referencing The Last Samurai 🙂

  37. Straight court room reporting of a mundane meeting would just be too dull, wouldn’t it? 🙂

  38. Much ado about nothing. The question is what backroom bargaining is going on between all parties.

  39. “In court, paid guns—they prefer the term ‘attorneys’—prefer to do the shooting” – tee hee hee

  40. Why is Newman even here? I think the US is finding it difficult to gather evidence for the bribery charge. FIFA jefes aren’t that easy to rollover.