Disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has hired one of Britain’s leading barristers to help his fight against extradition to the USA.
Edward Fitzgerald QC, who has represented controversial Muslim cleric Abu Hamza and Moors murderer Myra Hindley in the past, has confirmed he is advising Warner and his legal team in Trinidad.
Warner has been indicted by the US justice department on eight counts of football-related corruption and is currently on bail in Trinidad. Among the charges, he is accused of taking a 10million US dollar (£6.4m) bribe to vote for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.
Significantly, Fitzgerald has also represented Trinidad businessman Steve Ferguson who has successfully resisted extradition to the USA for the last 10 years.
Fitzgerald, who has won human rights awards for his cases challenging death sentences, confirmed he was working for Warner but said he could not discuss any details of the case.
Warner’s two sons Daryll and Daryan, and his former deputy Chuck Blazer, have all pleaded guilty to related charges among 18 people who have been indicted by US authorities. Seven of them including Warner’s successor as CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb are in custody in Switzerland pending extradition hearings.
Warner, who was forced to resign from FIFA in 2011 after being caught up in a corruption scandal, has insisted he has done nothing wrong.
In a statement earlier this month, Warner said: “I have been afforded no due process and I have not even been questioned in this matter. I reiterate that I am innocent of any charges.”
The US Embassy in Port of Spain said no final extradition request had been made to the Trinidad and Tobago attorney general.
It said on its Twitter account: “The U.S. Department of Justice has not yet sent any final requests on the Jack Warner extradition request to the T&T authorities.”